Imaginal dialogue as a method of narrative inquiry

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This paper joins the discussions on imaginal dialogue with references to the relational turn in psychoanalysis. It explores imaginal dialogue as a creative, relational endeavour in evoking the unconscious materials. By describing my own imaginal dialogue with Virginia Woolf, it exemplifies the potentiality of reading as an embodied, co-constructed interplay between the reader and the text. The deepening of relational and dialogical engagement with the text not only stirs the affective depth in the reader, but also brings the reader to conjure the presence of the author as an object for relatedness in the process of narrative inquiry. Imaginal dialogue transgresses beyond the poststructuralist allowance of intepreive pluralism to relational processes of working with the encounters with the presence of the author as their imaginary co-inquirer. Imaginal dialogue, I argue, not only provides an alternative kind of narrative framing, but the imaginal relationship becomes the very locus of knowledge creation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-58
JournalNarrative Inquiry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2020


  • imaginal dialogue
  • creative-relational
  • Virginia Woolf
  • object-relations
  • Fairbairn


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