Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Understanding "Unsafety in the Presence of the Other": A Client's Experience of Shame and Fear
Contributor(s): Lightfoot, Shannon (author); Wilson, Annmaree Caroline  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
Handle Link:
Abstract: Explorations of the client's experience in the counselling and psychotherapy literature largely advantage the voice of the practitioner-as-expert with the client's voice fragmented to fit the practitioner-researcher's script or standpoint. Desiring to privilege and empower the voice of the client and to inform therapeutic practice, I have taken the postmodern narrative turn and utilised innovative methodologies to story the client's experiential knowing and meaning for research. My autoethnographic inquiry spans the initial nine months of the client's third attempt in less than a year to form a working alliance with a psychotherapist. It explores the phenomenological experience of "unsafety in the presence of the other" as-lived by myself as a mature-aged adult having attachment difficulties arising from complex trauma experiences. Analysis revealed the conditions of safety, a 'safe place', a real relationship, ethical boundaries, and hope as vital to establishing a therapeutic relationship and fostering feelings of security. Exploring what unmet attachment needs "look like" in psychotherapy, the 'centrality of shame' was unexpectedly exposed; found hidden in the client's entrenched 'on guard' behaviours. Spiralling inner dynamics illustrate shame as fuelling peekaboo-style behaviours and dissociative processes which might evade the therapist as a feared source of shame. The data results implied that therapeutic practice would benefit from therapists knowing how to identify shame and attachment issues in clients who experience "unsafety in the presence of the other". Practice would also benefit from therapists reflecting on the significance of the role of attachment figure; especially regarding extended breaks and gaps in care.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Field of Research (FoR): 111710 Health Counselling
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 929999 Health Not Elsewhere Classified
Rights Statement: Copyright 2010 - Shannon Lightfoot
Open Access Embargo: 2012-02-11
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
Other Links:
Statistics to Oct 2018: Visitors: 197
Views: 207
Downloads: 0
Appears in Collections:Thesis Masters Research

Files in This Item:
7 files
File Description SizeFormat 
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Mar 5, 2019
Google Media

Google ScholarTM


Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.