Title page for ETD etd-11262008-125922

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Vermooten, Elizabeth
Email elizabeth.nel@telkomsa.net
URN etd-11262008-125922
Document Title Fiction writing as symbolic constructivist inquiry in ego state therapy
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof T M Bakker Supervisor
  • artistic inquiry
  • fiction writing
  • story
  • social constructionism
  • ego state therapy
  • trauma
  • dissociation
  • therapeutic development
  • art-like research formats
  • symbolic constructivism
Date 2008-05-05
Availability unrestricted

The dissertation primarily involves an exploration of art-like research possibilities via symbolic constructivism, concerning research into a therapeutic process from the position of a beginning therapist. Symbolic constructivism within the broader framework of artistic inquiry forms the methodological paradigm. Symbolic constructivism is regarded as a social constructionist research method, and entails using art-like formats in creating a symbol representing the issue being researched. Fiction writing is thereby used in creating a story as a co-constructed symbol, exploring what happened during a therapy process involving issues regarding trauma and dissociation that I undertook with a female client. The client acts as co-researcher in co-writing and editing the story's content, style and tone. The study also represents my reality in terms of understanding theoretical constructs from epistemologically diverse paradigms, therapeutic processes, doing research and writing a dissertation as it is punctuated at a specific moment in time. As a subtext the dissertation may also be described as a narrative about becoming - becoming a therapist, being a person, and the interface between these two (amongst other) selves. In the dissertation, I therefore hope to present a process-oriented account of personal therapeutic development as well.

ŠUniversity of Pretoria 2007

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