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Title: Clinicians' experiences of therapeutic work in a child and adolescent mental health service : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Hendry, Jessica
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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Clinical therapeutic work with children has previously been seen to be an area of high risk for therapist stress (Cunningham, 1999). Despite this, little research has investigated the specific effects of therapeutic work with children and young people. The present study aimed to build upon the existing research by investigating clinicians’ experiences of therapeutic work within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, using a qualitative approach, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Five super-ordinate themes were generated from the analysis: Client Acting Upon Therapist, The Person and The Professional, Responsibility, Support and Emotional Growth and Depletion. Clinicians described the varying ways in which the emotional impact of their work is felt and experienced. The emotional complexity of the work was seen to link to shifts in clinicians’ parameters of responsibility and to their experience of the professional self. Both shorter term and longer term influences of the work were highlighted. For some, this included facets of experience in keeping with concepts of vicarious traumatisation and burnout, while for others there was a perceived development in emotional understanding and regulation over time. Implications for clinical practice are drawn out, specifically suggesting the potential benefits of a greater commitment to recognising, discussing and understanding therapists’ emotional reactions to the work at individual, team and organisational levels. Possible barriers to the achievement of this goal, at both individual and organisational levels are put forward.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available