Methodological reflections on transference and countertransference in geographical research: relocation experiences from post-disaster Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand
Hutcheson, G. (2013). Methodological reflections on transference and countertransference in geographical research: relocation experiences from post-disaster Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. Area, published online 2 October 2013.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8119
This article contributes to the emerging cannon of work on emotion and affect by extending conversations on reflexivity to include a relational ontology. I draw on geographical literature and the psychoanalytic concepts of transference and countertransference to examine how a combination of unconscious, subconscious and embodied experiences can further inform research interactions. Emotion and affect are examined in the research setting that moves beyond the clinical encounter to bring forms of unconscious communication into the realm of the everyday. The experiences that participants draw on are often beyond language and symbolisation, but are simultaneously situated in the body and its relations with other bodies. Examples are based on a qualitative research project exploring the relocation experiences of disaster survivors from Christchurch's major earthquake on 22 February 2011. The article concludes that, by focusing on transference and countertransference, unconscious and embodied connections can be fore-grounded. Research, then, becomes a cooperative space where the researcher and the participants form a knowledge framework that includes senses, emotion and affect.