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Title: The experience of therapists working with clients who hear voices : an interpretative phenomenological study
Author: Trayman, Sara
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2010
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My research question arose from my first therapeutic experience with a client who hears voices. I felt unprepared and uncertain about how to work with her. I wondered how other therapists experienced working with clients who hear voices. These are voices heard with no physical origin, experienced as real and which psychiatry typically describes as hallucinations. This research provides an empirical account of the individual lived experiences of seven therapists undertaking such work using an interpretative phenomenological analysis. These seven participants were recruited using snowballing emails and included four counsellors, a psychotherapist, a nurse therapist and a counselling psychologist working in various settings. The literature points to which therapeutic approaches are most useful and identifies an important role for Counselling Psychology. There is no research which explores the experience of therapists working with clients who hear voices or what it is like for them to work with such clients. The main body of the research literature focuses on what it means for people to hear voices and how therapists can help them cope. I was interested in the impact this has on the therapist and the therapeutic relationship and what the unique aspects of this work might be. The analysis gave rise to six superordinate themes which were; 'Questioning their competence', 'Relational experience of the work', 'Struggles and difficulties', 'Sense of reality and the unknown', 'Surviving and coping' and Characteristics of client and voices'. These themes are explored in the findings section and discussed in relationship to the extant literature. In gaining this phenomenological perspective this research offers an insight into some of the difficulties of work with this client group. These insights propose a useful contribution towards continuing professional development training courses, initial training programmes, guidelines for supervision and understanding of the impact on therapeutic practice.
Supervisor: Nuttall, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Auditory hallucinations