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Title: Client perspectives on counselling : a hermeneutic approach
Author: Lambert, Phoebe
ISNI:       0000 0001 3604 3553
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2005
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A number of counselling research studies have pointed to the under-researched area of client perceptions. My own personal experiences as a former recipient of therapy and as a counsellor continue to raise questions for me in terms of the mystique of therapy, the stigma still often attached to seeking counselling, the over-emphasis on the inner psychic aspects of the client at the expense of the external social influences on client well-being, and the power differential within the client-counsellor relationship. These are issues that sometimes appear to be given limited attention in counsellor training. At the same time I am increasingly aware of the healing effects of counselling. The purpose of my research is thus to talk in depth to a cross-section of intending users of counselling asking them about their perspectives on counselling and to what extent these perspectives change after experiencing counselling. This I have done by: exploring client perspectives on counselling before engagement in the process; exploring client and counsellor perspectives on counselling during and after counselling and how these perspectives are modified and transformed; considering in the light of the findings what can be learned by counsellors, trainers and providers in order to inform the training and practice of counselling. The research is informed by thematic analysis within the methodology of hermeneutic inquiry using semi-structured, recorded and transcribed one-to-one interviews (30) with 8 client research participants, 6 counsellor research participants and 3 referral agents. The counselling period under review has varied from a few weeks to 18 months. I am focussing on representative user groups from each of the following categories within the regions of Liverpool, London and Norwich: University counselling services; Primary care/GP practices; Voluntary/local community sector. After completing the before, during and after counselling interviews the emerging themes are: ambivalent and uncertain expectations of counselling; socio-cultural influences; self-identity and hopes of counselling; client-counsellor relationship and convergence/divergence of perspective; changing perspectives of client, counsellor and researcher. Finally, the implications of these themes arising from a study of the client perspective are presented in terms of individual counselling practice, training and development and organisational context and provision.
Supervisor: Noble, Mike ; Feltham, Colin ; Mcauley, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available