Dissertation Title:

A Phenomenological Investigation of Patient Psychological Stress in Western Medicine


Jennifer Knight

Date, Time & Place:

February 20, 2024 at 3:00 pm


This study explored the psychological impact of Western medical diagnosis, intervention, or interaction from the patient’s perspective. The history of Western medicine was critiqued and explored with special attention to the loss of the corporeal soul. Concepts of the medicalized body, medical gaze, and the social construction of Western medicine were presented. Six participants were interviewed using an interpretative phenomenological analysis method. Six convergent superordinate themes were discovered: The Limited System, The Monetized Patient, The Doctor-Patient Relationship, The Unseen Patient, The Harmed Patient, and Reactionary States. Additional subthemes are also presented. The findings of this study corroborated and contributed to the literature on Jungian archetypes, social constructivism, Western medical paradigm limitations, medical trauma, and medical violations. Clinical implications and future research directions are also discussed.

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Depth Psychology, A, 2016
  • Chair: Dr. Marybeth Carter
  • Reader: Dr. Brenda Murrow
  • External Reader: Dr. Brent Robbins
  • Keywords: Western Medicine, Psychological Stress, Medical Trauma, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis