This paper introduces a thought partnership between Pierre Bourdieu and Carl Jung used to explore clinical play therapists’ understanding and critical reflexivity of unconscious influences on their relational practices with parents. The partnership is situated within a broader methodological partnership between Paul Ricoeur and Jung discussed by the authors in another paper in this issue. The purpose of the Bourdieu and Jung partnership is to design a comprehensive theoretical tool kit that enables the exploration of the interrelated nature of personal, social, and collective unconscious influences on professional practices. The paper discusses seven Bourdieusian and ten Jungian thinking tools and how they were brought together within a critical imaginal hermeneutic approach drawn from the first author’s doctoral study. The application of the conceptual partnership to the study’s text sets is then discussed to provide an in-depth structural analysis of the study’s phenomenon. The results highlight how the application of the thinking tools provide a critical and systemic awareness of how personal, social, and collective unconscious influences shape professional practices. Implications for professional practice are discussed as well as the role the Bourdieusian and Jungian thinking tools can play in enhancing the fundamental aims of qualitative research, particularly critical inquiry.


Pierre Bourdieu, Carl Jung, Professional Practice, Relational Practices, Unconscious Influences, Critical Hermeneutics, Critical Imaginal Hermeneutics, Critical Reflexivity, Clinical Play Therapy, Play Therapy, Child Mental Health, Counselling, Psychotherapy, Archetypes

Author Bio(s)

Rosa Bologna is the Director of The Academy of Art & Play Therapy. She is a registered psychologist, clinical supervisor, and mental health counselling educator based in Sydney, Australia. Her research interests include interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological partnerships; art and play therapy modalities in qualitative research; and the professional practice of mental health counsellors, supervisors, and educators. Contact: Rosa Bologna, PhD, The Academy of Art & Play Therapy, GPO Box 3111, Sydney, NSW 2001 Australia; E-mail: rosab@artandplay.com.au.

Franziska Trede is an Associate Professor in Higher Education and Professional Practice in the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Her body of research focuses on professional practice, professional identity development, social justice, relational agency and arts-based methodologies. Contact: Franziska Trede, PhD, Institute for Interactive Media & Learning, PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007 Australia; E-mail: Franziska.trede@uts.edu.au.

Narelle Patton is the Sub Dean Workplace Learning and Accreditation for the Faculty of Science at Charles Sturt University. Her research interests focus on professional practice, professional practice capabilities, practice-based education, workplace learning and development of professional practice capabilities. She is particularly interested in creative research methods. Contact: Narelle Patton, PhD, Faculty of Science, Charles Sturt University, PO Box 789, Albury, NSW 2640 Australia; Email: npatton@csu.edu.au.


The first author Rosa Bologna would like to acknowledge that her doctoral research cited in this paper was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

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