• A review of literature relevant to a study of students' views of their learning on a psychodynamic psychotherapeutic course

      Pape, Nick R.; Wearmouth, Janice (London Churchill College, 2016-12-31)
      This paper focuses on the literature underpinning the use of an analytic framework based on aspects of both psychodynamic theories and socio-cultural understandings of the learning process to underpin a study of students' perceptions of facilitating factors that enable learnign of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy have within them no intrinsic theory of learning. To study the learning process, as reported by students, therefore requires reliance on an external theoretical model that is sufficiently compatible with psychodynamic theory and that does not distort either the research process or the interpretation of data in a way that is unrecognisable to adherents of a psychodynamic perspective. Psychodynamic learning cannot be undertaken on an instructional basis but only by authentic learning tasks grounded in the personal interests of learners. Is is for this reason that a sociocultural constructivist view of the learning process was chosen as being appropriate to integrate into a framework through which to view psychodynamic therapeutic learning. The research sought to explore how learners created and applied perceptions of what helped learning. A qualitative case study design was employed with eight randomly selected participants from Higher Education institutes. Analysis of data from interviews, observations and document collection, using a framework derived from sociocultural understandings of learning as well as psychodynamic theories, enabled the emergence of nine themes: autonomy; self-changes; closeness; encouragement/discouragement; individual learning process; listening; ambivalence about judging the tutor; private life; self-esteem and confidence. The over-arching theme that emerged was the tutor-student relationship, understandable in sociocultural constructivist terms as enabling learning witin a Vygotskyian zone of proximal development and the Bowlbian concept of provision of a safe base from which students journeyed towards autonomous independent learning.