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Title: Making sense of the stigma of psychological help-seeking : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Whalley, Simon
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2013
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This Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis study investigated the experience of the stigma surrounding seeking psychological help. Eight adults with experience of being in therapy participated in semi-structured interviews. The participants explored themes around what it was like to feel stigmatised about being in therapy; for example, what was it like to keep their therapy secret from other people, and what they feared other people would think of them for seeking help. Analysis yielded four themes around stigma and help-seeking: the hidden self; critical others; the justification of therapy; and strength and weakness. These themes suggested that seeking psychological help for the participants was often challenging and that therapy was a flag reminding other people of mental health stereotypes, such as dangerousness, unpredictability, and weakness. The findings are important for the field of counselling psychology and suggest therapists may be well placed to help reduce levels of stigma for the stigmatised client.
Supervisor: Rayner, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available