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Title: The long goodbye : an investigation of how personal, professional and social dimensions influence the creation of endings in psychodynamic counselling
Author: Woodend, N. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 2189
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the ending stages of psychodynamic counselling. Endings in counselling might be planned from the outset; negotiated through the course of the work; thrust upon participants due to external circumstances; or the work might end if the relationship between counsellor and client is not robust enough to be sustained. A psycho-social research methodology was used to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction between participants’ internal worlds and the broader context of the social and cultural constructs around them. The data for this research was supplied through thirty-eight interviews with nineteen participants: nine counsellors; six counselling clients; and four counselling supervisors, all involved with providing, receiving or supervising psychodynamic counselling in London or South West England. Data collection used free association narrative interviews, in conjunction with reflexive approaches such as field work notes and the researcher maintaining a reflexive journal. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. The research findings produce a distinctive history of how endings in psychodynamic counselling are constructed, with a focus on the acculturation of new counsellors effecting how they approach endings. The adherence of new counsellors to a narrative of death, loss and mourning in relation to endings appears to lessen over time and to allow a broader interpretation of endings, with greater association to attachment based narratives of endings emerging. Although not strongly linked, the research suggests counsellors who experienced sudden, rather than timely, deaths in their biographies, and those who have no children, tend to use a narrative of death, loss and mourning to frame their understanding of endings in counselling. Finally, this research offers a unique view on how counselling clients experience the psychodynamic counselling relationship, which raises questions about professional practice serving as a defence against anxiety and counsellors’ lack of awareness of the public’s expectation of their role.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available