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Title: Imagination, power and resilience in psychotherapists/counsellors who have overcome childhood abuse : a quantitative and qualitative study
Author: Pimentel-Aguilar, Silvia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3490 6706
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2008
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Aims: To investigate any possible relationship between the power and resilience of British psychotherapists and counsellors, and the possibility of their having been abused as children. Main research question: What elements contribute to recovery from childhood abuse? Methods: This three-part study used a mixed-methods approach. Results: (1) The Systematic Review of reliable questionnaires resulted in the design of a final instrument with eight sections including the following five measurements: the 'GHQ1?', the 'List of Threatening Experiences', the 'Ways of Coping Questionnaire-R', 'The Empowerment Scale' and the 'TSC-40'. (2) A Survey of results of 103 completed questionnaires indicated that the prevalence of childhood abuse was 57% with a higher proportion (64%) in women. The occurrence of symptoms of trauma was found to be significantly different between the abused and nonabused groups. However, the results suggested that psychotherapy was beneficial because the abused group did not reflect significant trauma. A complex interaction was discovered between coping styles, power, life events, trauma and emotional health. I Regression analysis demonstrated that Self-Esteem-Self-Efficacy was a subscale of empowerment that mediated trauma. (3) Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of seven Interviews showed different usages of power: Dominance Power, Powerlessness/Disempowerment' Inner Power and Empowerment. It also showed that 'Imagination' in childhood and 'Active Imagination' in adulthood were faculties of In'ner Power. Psychotherapists reported that their experience of childhood abuse led to an open understanding of trauma, and of its emotional effects in clients who had suffered childhood abuse. They believed that psychotherapy was important for empowerment and recovery. Conclusions: Triangulation of results strongly suggests that imagination is a fundamental component of inner power, and that play, creativity and sports are crucial elements in the construction of empowerment. These results highlight the importance of play, arts and sports in psychotherapy methods, education programmes, and everyday life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available