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Seduction, resistance, and the value of the Anvil

Hadjiosif, Miltos

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Miltos Hadjiosif
Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology


In this paper I sketch my journey of finding Autoethnography and creative-relational inquiry; orientations to scholarship that are so obviously relevant to my home discipline of Counselling Psychology, yet at the same time, so alien and unwelcome. While I deeply resent Psychology’s hostility towards non-positivist, subjectively inflected forms of inquiry (what is conventionally known as ‘research’), I have recently wondered whether there is value in the struggle of trying to ‘fit in’ and ‘break through’. The struggle I will speak of is one of trying to reach Autoethnography while not completely relinquishing my professional identity and its associated rituals and signifiers. It is a struggle that involved enough agency and self-sabotage to forbid us from conceptualising mainstream Psychology in singularly unhelpful terms. Moreover, my journey afforded new vistas to examine psychotherapy, blurring the boundaries between research and practice.

I will share a few key moments that capture seduction and resistance alike; turning to and running away from, as they helped me reach the shores of Autoethnography in a sure-footed yet curious and open-hearted way. I conceptualise this process as an anvil being hammered in a forge. Painful, yes. But could it be that the sparks from the anvil’s heart ignited something that might have otherwise remained inaccessible and dormant?


Hadjiosif, M. (2024, January). Seduction, resistance, and the value of the Anvil. Paper presented at European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Helsinki, Finland

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
Conference Location Helsinki, Finland
Start Date Jan 9, 2024
End Date Jan 12, 2024
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jan 23, 2024
Keywords Autoethnography; struggle; counselling psychology; depth psychology
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