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Title: A reflective study of educational psychologists' narratives regarding their experiences of working therapeutically
Author: Anderson, Naomi
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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It is recognised that emotional and relational difficulties can have a negative influence on children's wellbeing, academic performance and behaviour. These same issues can affect adults who care for and work with children. In this thesis, interventions that are designed to help a child or adult address such problems are considered to be therapeutic. Within educational psychology, there is much debate about whether educational psychologists (EPs) should work therapeutically. Those who choose to work in this way appear to face additional challenges. I wanted to explore this issue by using a reflective process to engage with the narratives that EPs told regarding their experiences of using therapeutic interventions within their role. The study is positioned within an approach to ontological and epistemological concerns that can be described as social constructionist. Two EPs were invited to tell their story within an unstructured interview. The narratives that emerged were a joint construction within a particular context. I analysed the narratives using a self-reflective process informed by my therapeutic training, and thematic analysis as suggested by Braun and Clarke (2006). The findings suggested that at the heart of therapeutic work were good relationships with children and adults. The EPs involved in this study reported that they found such work rewarding. However, they often faced challenges when building and sustaining these relationships. They identified that there was limited time to deliver such work and that training and supervision were often inadequate. The process of the study offered an alternative approach to research and practice within educational psychology, one that placed greater value upon personal narratives and experience. Key words: Therapeutic intervention, social constructionism, narrative, the dynamic nature of knowledge, self-reflection, and thematic analysis.
Supervisor: Billington, Tom Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.C.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available