Analogical fit: dynamic relatedness on the psychotherapeutic setting (with reference to language, autonomic response, and change in self-state)
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 02:32 authored by Anthony James Korner
Philosophical orientation: "Self", and "person", are concepts related to the embodied flux offeeling in a symbolic, acculturated personal context: a system of self and other. This thesisexplores available evidence and theoretical underpinnings required for development of anintersubjective paradigm (as opposed to sole patient-focus) in researching psychotherapyprocess. This involves human communicative processes related to the development ofpersonal selves and personality. "Self", and "person", are concepts related to the embodied flux of feeling in a symbolic, acculturated personal context: a system of self and other. This thesis explores available evidence and theoretical underpinnings required for development of an intersubjective paradigm (as opposed to sole patient-focus) in researching psychotherapy process. This involves human communicative processes related to the development of personal selves and personality. Research approach: Research questions are only partially addressed through theexperimental work of the pilot study. They are also approached through examination ofavailable evidence from a variety of sources. The experimental component uses sessionswhere conversation and autonomic variables (Heart Rate Variability (HRV); and Respiration)are recorded. These continuous variables are embodied analogues of responsiveness toenvironmental input. An additional tool, the Change in Self Experience Rating Scale(CSERS) is used, allowing both patient and therapist to comment on shifts in personalexperience within therapy, through independently rating the transcript of a session, givingvoice to private experience not registered in the transcript itself. A current model ofautonomic function, the polyvagal theory, is used as a basis for re-evaluation of the role offeeling in mental life, emphasizing its role in social engagement. Different modes ofautonomic function underpin a variety of human encounters with the environment, and maycontribute to emotional displays that form a basis for symbolic representations, or "embodiedsymbolic orders". Findings: Experimental findings of slowing of breathing rate, i) during speech; and ii) inrelation to narrative highpoints in conversation, are consistent with hypothesized vagalregulation of social engagement. CSERS findings demonstrate, i) complexity in individualrating of feeling; and ii) information additional to the semantic content of the transcript,providing a window onto the feeling-based "interpersonal metafunction" of language. Theseself-ratings also illustrate that timings of self-states accessible to reflective consciousnesscorrespond to the timings of language, and breathing, a period of longer duration thanminimal conscious states. Conclusions: The self is seen, in linguistic terms, as emerging through embodiedinterpersonal interaction. This involves analogical exchange, developing within the textualdomain, as a culminative text, ultimately providing an effective voice, capable of utilizing therepresentational function of language in the speech community. Such exchange is embodiedthrough states of social engagement; states of orientation to signals of threat or surprise; andrealization in instantiated moments of experience. This work is organized into six parts thatcorrespond to this process: Orientation (Part 1); Embodiment (Part 2); Language (Part 3);Reciprocity (Part 4); Instantiation (Part 5); and Realization (Part 6). The sense of matchingthat occurs during interpersonal communicative exchange is appropriately thought of as"analogical fit", involving best approximation of fit between the feeling and conceptualdomains of experience. A mature self involves the achievement of self-organizing agencywithin a relational network underpinned by language.