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Dissertation Module Reading List 2021

Dissertation, 2021/22, Semester C12
Rajni Sharma
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Dissertation reading list

Now you are independent researchers. So you are freer to explore your own reading. These are  important texts to get starting in thinking about conceptual and methodological aspects of undertaking psychoanalytic research.

Damásio, A. R. (2008) - Descartes Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain, Random House.  

You don’t need to read this whole book. However it does provide a good challenge to the traditional view (in dominance within psychological research until the 1990’s) that scientific research must distrust and eschew emotion in order to be ‘valid’. Damasio  argues that emotion is inherently part of human reasoning, Cognition and emotions  are inextricably intertwined.

Desmarias, S. (2007) - ‘Hard science, thin air, and unexpected guests: a pluralistic method of rationality, knowledge and conjecture in child psychotherapy research, Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 33 (3), pp283-307.

Flyvbjerg, B. (2011) - ‘Case Study’ IN: N. K. Denzin and Y S. Lincoln, (eds) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 4th Edition (Thousand Oaks, CA), pp301-16.  

This is an excellent account of the value of the case study. It shows that we must not apologise for ‘only’ doing a single study or having a small amount of material. There are insights which can only be gleaned from case material and would not be accessible in quantitative studies.

Hollway, W and Jefferson, T (2012) - Doing qualitative research differently: a psychosocial approach, London: Sage.

(chapters 3 and 6 are particularly useful)

Hunt, J. C.  (1989) - Qualitative research methods, Vol. 18. Psychoanalytic Aspects of Fieldwork, Sage Publications, CA, USA.

A fabulous book.

McLeod, J (2010) -  Case Study Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy, London: Sage.

Reddy, V and Trevarthen, C (2004) What we learnt about babies from engaging with their emotions, in Zero to Three, January, Vol 24, No. 3, 9-15. Just read pp. 9-11. OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 30/10/2020) 

This short article demonstrates how some things can only be learnt about by becoming profoundly emotionally engaged (just like a mother is when she gets to know her baby). This is because 1. Only an organism with feelings and thoughts can perceive feelings and thoughts in another. 2. When we perceive things, we also respond to them.

Rustin, M. (2019) - Researching the Unconscious: Principles of Psychoanalytic Method, London: Routledge.

There is no objective standpoint, but a series of complex positions all of which shape the phenomenon being explored.

Sternberg, J. (2005) - Infant Observation at the  heart of Training, London: Karnac

A useful explanation of the value of psychoanalytic observation.


Urwin, C. and Sternberg, J. (2012) Infant Observation and Research: Emotional Processes in Everyday Lives, London: Routledge.

This list was last updated on 21/09/2020