Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 79 Issue 1 (March 2006), Pages 1-149

I feel like a scrambled egg in my head: An idiographic case study of meaning making and anger using interpretative phenomenological analysis (pages 115-135)

What does it feel like when one's meaning making is impoverished and threatens to break down? The aim of this study is to show how meaning making is achieved in the context of one's life and how this achievement is often a struggle for the individual. The study reports data from semi‐structured interviews with a female participant, which was analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). This paper examines how cultural discourses and conventions are experienced and given meaning by the individual. First, the analysis demonstrates how dominant discourses are used to explain anger and aggression. These include hormones, alcohol, and the influence of past relationships on present action. Second, it examines how the participant's meaning making is often ambiguous and confused, and how she variously accepts and challenges available meanings. Finally, the analysis demonstrates how meaning making can break down and the consequences of this for the individual's sense of self.

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