Reflexivity: Usefulness in the psychodynamic therapist's meaning-making process of projective identification

Barbara A. Clarke (2005)

This theoretical dissertation applies the qualitative research technique of reflexivity to the process of understanding projective identification as it occurs in therapy. This integration has several ramifications. First, it addresses the problem of blurred ego boundaries that occurs with projective identification. Second, it shifts the focus from the client's meaning-making process to that of the therapist. This paper provides a theoretical context and rationale for applying reflexivity to the process of understanding experiences of projective identification. This context includes: (a) comparing the roles of psychodynamic therapist and qualitative researcher, (b) summarizing the literature on projective identification, (c) defining reflexivity, and (d) outlining the benefits of using reflexivity to address projective identification. Lastly, this paper recommends that this integration can be of value in psychotherapy training.