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Title: Imagining coherence : the construction of professional identity.
Author: Beauchamp, Bridget Anne.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis explores the notion that the construction of coherence in professional identity is an act of imagining. The first stage of the inquiry focused on what it means to be a facilitator in person-centred encounter groups and learning programmes and was conducted through interviews with facilitators. In the second stage another interview study was undertaken, this time with counsellors whose training had been in the person-centred therapeutic tradition. The focus here was on how those interviewed claimed or assembled professional identity. The inquiry was made complex because throughout the two stages I was undertaking a person-centred learning programme and then starting in professional practice as a counsellor. This insider status and the question of whose professional identity was being constructed both demanded and enabled new ways of looking. I argue that carrying out research where it would seem not to be possible, because the relation between the researcher and what is being researched is complex, needs ways of looking consonant with the context of that research. Thus my self as researcher became both a site and a tool in the inquiry. An incident during my learning programme is told as a story and, being constructed as critical to the inquiry, is examined. Connections are made between the choice of methodology, the conduct of the research and the practice of counselling and facilitation. I suggest that participants in the research, facilitators, counsellors and the researcher, discursively constructed professional identity by positioning who they were and what they thought they were doing, momentarily, that is in the moment of talking or writing, within the discourses variously available to them, within stories of their lives and in relation to their notions of self.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology Psychology Sociology Human services