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Title: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Therapists' perspectives of predisposing factors of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Author: Parnell, Anthony Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 3614
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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Background: The aim of this study was to explore the experience and sense making oftherapists working with clients who present with a PTSD diagnosis. The study engaged with therapists experience and understanding of predisposing factors to PTSD and how they incorporate this understanding into the therapy process. Further to this the experience of the therapists understanding of the influence of predisposing factors on the expression of PTSD was explored. Literature Review: A literature review is presented identifying core research relating to PTSD, predisposing factors to the development of PTSD and the treatments used when working with PTSD as a presenting issue. Methodology: To address the aims of the study 9 therapist participants were interviewed. Semi-structured, one to one, in-depth interviews were utilised to elicit participant’s experience of the issues outlined within the aims. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to identify re-current themes across the interviews and analyse the data, which emerged. Findings: The main findings present thirteen sub-ordinate themes that reflect the essence of the participant’s experience of the phenomenon under investigation. These were based around eight Super-ordinate (master) themes of Previous history, Therapy relationship, Psychoeducation and Normalisation, Identity, Culture, Attachment, Presenting Therapy Themes, and Support Systems. Discussion and Conclusion: The study identified the participant’s experience of predisposing factors on the expression of PTSD. There was consensus from the participant’s in relation to the significant impact of client’s previous life experience on their expression of PTSD. The participants further identified that the client’s previous life experience influenced their formulation and treatment of PTSD. Significant issues that were described by all of the participants regardless of their theoretical or therapeutic perspective were (1) the central importance of the therapeutic relationship, (without a strong, trusting and safe relationship the participants would not engage the therapy work), (2) the importance of in-depth history taking (identification of previous life experience and its impact on the current response to the trauma), (3) the impact of previous trauma(s), and (4) the impact of support systems, environment and identity. These issues are discussed alongside the existing literature around this topic. Additionally, suggestions for future directions of research and recommendations for practice are presented.
Supervisor: West, William; Lennie, Clare Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Couns.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ; Predisposing Factors ; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) ; Therapists viewpoint