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Title: Making sense of the experience of anxiety, worry, and spontaneous images : an interpretative phenomenological analysis of interviews with young adults who were using a student counselling service
Author: Kelly-Keogh, Joanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 1982
Awarding Body: Middlesex University/New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2014
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Aim: The aim of the current research is to gain an understanding of the individual experience of anxiety and worry with a particular focus on spontaneous images. In order to do this, the phenomena of spontaneous images, worry and anxiety require clarification. Some history of these phenomena is provided by describing the more researched worry and anxiety and adding the more recent recognition of the experience of spontaneous images. The current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association/APA, 2000) describes a generalised anxiety as a disorder characterized by excessive worry. The new DSM-5 (APA, 2013) also does not acknowledge spontaneous images and their impact on the worrier. The present research is not intended to verify the presence of spontaneous images per se, rather it attempts to explore the lived experience of generalised anxiety and worry and to add another perspective to this age old human characteristic with a specific look at the experience of spontaneous images. In order to do this and allow for these phenomena to unfold, a phenomenological stance on worry, anxiety and spontaneous images is taken. Method: The experience of worry, anxiety and associated spontaneous images was analysed using a qualitative approach namely, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith et al, 2009). Data was collected via a semi-structured interview with eight students aged between 18 and 25 years. The interviews took place in a student counselling service and were audio recorded with appropriate consent. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and the participants given pseudonyms to ensure anonymity. Results and Conclusions: Six master themes emerged from participant’s accounts; self- absorption, awareness of worry and anxiety as all-encompassing, trying to cope with anxiety and worry, the past in the present, consumed by the other, and finally, life with spontaneous images. The findings are then discussed in relation to the relevant literature, and implications for therapeutic practice, methodological limitations and directions for future research are presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.C.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available