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Date of Award

4-16-2004

Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Jon Frew

Abstract

Alexithymia, the inability to recognize or name emotions, has been correlated with numerous physical conditions and psychological disorders. This thesis describes the various conceptualizations of the etiology and maintaining factors that have been proposed, including Energetic, Psychodynamic, Socialization, Neurological, and Cognitive Developmental theories. Next, the basic tenets of Gestalt Therapy theory are explained, including the figure-formation and destruction process, contact, contact boundary phenomena, and the concept of the creative adjustment. Finally, a Gestalt conceptualization of Alexithymia as a retroflective process is proposed and treatment implications are discussed.

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