Saphira at DPsych

This blog is an attempt to describe the ongoing process of studying at a doctoral level, related to psychotherapy.

Dette er en blogg som beskriver veien inn og igjennom et doktorgrads studium, i dette tilfelle i psykoterapi.

Intensive Care

Doctorate in PsychotherapyPosted by Saphira Bjørnå Wahl Tue, April 08, 2014 16:54

One month gone in a blink and the research process is moving ahead. In London where the above flowers were found, intensive care is most often associated with hospitals or hand lotions. In this case it means that I am experiencing intensive care for my research project and the gifts I experience are continuously being given to me on my step by step journey doing the research. The people I get to meet are a blessing in themselves, sharing knowledge, expertise and skill. Especially the experts involved in sharing their stories with me bringing an extra bonus with them in radiating a rare kind of beauty.

I am so grateful that choose qualitative and not quantitative research methodology. Currently having the opportunity to learn more about quantitative methods at SERAF (Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research) weekly taking part at their PhD supervision and tutoring, a complete set of other skills are required to administer a quantitative study. I see the value and respect the quantitative craft, but enjoy the qualitative approach being a more appropriate approach in my doctorate.

If I had chosen quantitative methodology I would not have had the opportunity to encounter the persons and have the in depth meetings I have. And not been able to partake in the profound wisdom that comes with this in depth semi-structured interviews in qualitative research. I have chosen qualitative research within the phenomenological domain which provides me with the opportunity to search for meaning of the so called ‘lived experience’ of a particular phenomenon.

The particular phenomenon under investigation is the lived experience of surrendering ones will and life to a Higher Power within the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step fellowship. Now being intimately acquainted with and immersed in the work I find it most interesting and that it provides what is termed data – or in other words - experiences, personal stories and perspectives so essential and intriguing to me as human being, as psychotherapist and as a researcher I am left almost speechless. I am half way through the process of interviewing and can’t wait to complete. For my psychosynthesis colleagues this phenomenon connected to working with the will aspects is a hidden treasure…

After having completed the interview the next phase will start. This next phase will include transcribing the audio files and starting to analyse and code one interview at the time. After each interview has been completed analysis across multiple cases can start.

My chosen method is Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) which was conceived through professor Jonathan Smith in 1997. What I like the most about IPA is that it stays close to originals data and requires excerpts from the data to underpin findings and arguments. Interested in IPA – check out:

A central concept when doing phenomenological research and in particular IPA is having an awareness of reflexivity. Integrating a reflexive stance throughout the transcription phase, the analysis and the discussion is central to remain transparent. This is important to monitor biases and help the reader to place the researcher within her chosen epistemology (the study or theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge) and ontology (Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality). In short the researchers belief system in which she places herself and the glasses through which she looks to analyse the data. Partly the researchers view is of course influenced by knowledge derived from the literature review, previous research and clinical experience.

So with eight interviews of 60-90 minutes of data, the next few weeks will easily fill the soundproof multilayered bubble I am currently in – pushing almost everything else outside. But it’s a great bubble to be in at the moment...

So fellow readers, colleagues, friends, students – enjoy spring and the spring flowers...

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