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

Autoethnography and Psychodynamics in Interrelational Spaces of the Research Process

Birgitte Hansson
Roskilde University
Betina Dybbroe
Roskilde University
Published December 15, 2012
  • researcher subjectivity,
  • autoethnography,
  • psycho-societal analysis,
  • bodily experience,
  • mental illness,
  • interrelational space,
  • introspection
  • ...More


This article takes the stance that the subjectivity of the researcher is an integral part of the research process. It should be studied as a key to understanding the interrelational processes of meaning in an interview situation. The article demonstrates how the subjectivity of the researcher can be made accessible methodologically and methodically by combining a psychodynamic approach with an autoethnographic approach. The methodical question is therefore how the researcher can conduct introspection and at the same time reflect upon and analyse the central object of investigation. The approach is psychoanalytically informed, but autoethnography became the actual vehicle for moving beyond reflections on the psychodynamics represented in the texts. The researcher ventured into an introspection of not only the texts, but also her own feelings, fantasies, and bodily experiences at the time of the interview and also when bringing the data into new situations. The abstract reflections after the interview situation were left for a while, and instead a more experiential and sensual/bodily understanding appeared, based on narratives, feelings, and reflections from the research field. In doing so, the affective and experiential personal process became an important step in the interpretation.