Volume 8 Issue 2 (2012): New Approaches to Psychodynamic Research
Main Articles

Surrendering to the Dream: An Account of the Unconscious Dynamics of a Research Relationship

Jo Whitehouse-Hart
De Montfort University
Published December 1, 2012
  • research process,
  • research method,
  • empirical social research,
  • unconscious process,
  • affective response,
  • psychosocial studies,
  • defended subject,
  • object relations,
  • ethics of interpretation,
  • free association narrative interviewing
  • ...More


Recent years have seen psychoanalysis move out of the clinical area into the arena of empirical social research. This article uses a case study from a psychoanalytically informed media research project to explore conceptual, ethical, and methodological implications in research design in the light of this shift. The ideas of unconscious communication between interviewer and interviewee, the role of the researcher's subjectivity, and the impact of unconscious defences on the generation and interpretation of data are explored. In addition the free association narrative interviewing (FANI) method is evaluated.