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Title: Exploring the experiences of participants involved in a hypnosis intervention for test-anxious school students
Author: Patterson, Lindsay Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 6395
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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Subclinical stress and anxiety are associated with negative physical and mental health outcomes (Kroenke, Spitzer, Williams, Monahan & Lowe, 2007; Wittchen et al., 2002). There is a large body of quantitative research into interventions for stress and anxiety, but little experiential literature in the qualitative paradigm. A meta-ethnographic review was carried out to better understand the experiences of participants who received a relaxation, mindfulness or hypnosis intervention for subclinical stress and anxiety. Third order constructs derived from the literature suggest that participants were more self-aware and better able to manage their emotions following the interventions. Cognitive defusion is suggested as a mechanism for these effects. The empirical paper sought to address a gap in the anxiety and hypnosis literature suggested in the review. Test anxiety can impair students’ performance in exams (Zeidner, 1998). Hypnosis has been suggested as a useful intervention to help students to manage their test anxiety (Hammond, 2010), but there is little research in this area and almost no qualitative research that explores students’ experiences of hypnosis. The purpose of the current study was to explore secondary school students’ experiences of a manualised group hypnosis intervention for test anxiety; the study was part of a mixed methods evaluation of the group hypnosis intervention, and uniquely trained the school’s Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) to deliver the hypnosis intervention. Student participants in the qualitative study (n = 11) underwent the hypnosis intervention and were interviewed about their experiences using a semi-structured format; the ELSA was also interviewed. Inductive thematic analysis was then used to explore the participants’ experiences, as well as to consider the viability of the intervention for future use. The students found the hypnosis intervention very helpful for test anxiety, and the intervention was viewed positively by the school staff too. However, many students had unhelpful preconceptions of hypnosis, and one student found that the hypnosis increased their anxiety. The findings are discussed with reference to prior research.
Supervisor: Bishop, Felicity ; Liossi, Christina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology