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Title: Multiplicity: a qualitative exploration of the challenges and dilemmas of being a counselling psychologist
Author: Mayon-White , Elaine
Awarding Body: City University London
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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As a profession Counselling Psychology is continually growing and challenging itself in how it is perceived and identified not only by those amongst the community but also by those who work alongside it or use services provided by its members. Alongside this is the constant growth and development in psychological and counselling practices which present us with not only new ways of working but also further understanding of how we do our work.,. Counselling psychologists often value the way in which they are able to embrace different schools of thought within therapeutic practice and this unique skill set can also make them valuable practitioners. However, when conducting a literature review it was revealed that the experience of working across different counselling approaches is not one that is often discussed. The perspective of the practitioner is often neglected whilst the focus is instead on looking at effective practice. To consider this experience I have conducted semi-structured interviews with ten Counselling Psychologists whom had varying levels of experience across counselling approaches in different settings. The resulting data has been analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) providing an insight into the participants own intra-psyche processes as well as their interpersonal processes within the work itself. Additionally, the research has led to consideration of the impact of how we work in these processes and the effect of external factors such as workplace constraints. The findings present the importance of providing Counselling Psychologists with an open dialogue on their practice and the need to understand what it is that drives us to work across different models. By having this conversation greater emphasis is placed on what enables a Counselling Psychologist to create good work rather than merely considering the techniques that take place in a session. The study also highlights how external factors affect Counselling Psychologist's ability to do good work and how it is important for qualitative research to take into account this area of the profession's experience. The implications of these findings relate not only to specifically how Counselling Psychologist's work but how as practitioners the therapeutic process is experienced and facilitated. These findings developed into four major thematic categories which related to the internal, external and inter-intra psychic processes experienced in the work. The major themes are: In the room - discoveries of the here and now Tensions in the work - desires and drives • Care and support in the work • Integration and eclecticism Conclusions about counselling psychology practice and the role of the psychologist were drawn from these and the identified sub-themes. Areas highlighted included counselling psychology training and the context of the work. Suggestions for further research are made. Keywords: Counselling psychology; Experience of working across counselling approaches; Therapeutic relationship; Framework of practice; Integration; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis; Qualitative methodology
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available