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Title: How counselling psychologists and psychotherapists experience working with clients diagnosed with schizophrenia : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Gladoseva, Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 8312
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2015
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This study is concerned with the subjective experiences of therapists working with clients diagnosed with schizophrenia, and seeks to gain insight into what it feels like for practitioners to be in a therapeutic relationship with clients who experience hallucinations, delusions and other symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Six psychotherapists and counselling psychologists, all of whom have previously worked with clients diagnosed with schizophrenia, were interviewed. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was chosen to generate rich interview data. Participants were asked about their experience of working with clients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Participants’ narratives were analysed using IPA to identify common themes. The analysis resulted in twelve interrelated themes from which three master themes emerged. The first theme, ‘The dark territory’, explores the impact of chaos on the practitioner; participants noted that this type of work was experienced as part of the typical work of psychotherapists, yet simultaneously it felt alien and utterly chaotic, and was characterised by rich, powerful experiences that were alarming, especially at the beginning of the participants’ careers. The second master theme, ‘The symbiotic relationship’, reveals how emotionally involved the participants are with their clients. This was evident in their protectiveness and affection towards their clients. All participants emphasised the beneficial value of psychotherapy with people diagnosed with schizophrenia, and which makes therapeutic relationship mutually beneficial. This study found that psychotherapists and counselling psychologists require specialist supervision and training. These are explored in the final theme – ‘Containment’. Potential implications of the themes that emerged were explored. This study contributes to the literature on counselling psychology and schizophrenia, and to the understanding of how best to support therapists in working with this client group.
Supervisor: Dubowski, Janek ; Rae, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PsychD ; counselling psychology