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Title: A qualitative exploration of cultic experience in relation to mental health difficulties
Author: Walsh, Yvonne Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 7324
Awarding Body: City, University of London
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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The thesis explores the nature of religious cults and the question of what it is about such groups that leads some former members to experience them as producing lasting harm. The methodology of Classical Grounded Theory is identified as the most suitable for this enquiry and two interrelated studies using Classical Grounded Theory are reported. The first gives rise to a coherent and overarching conceptual model of the structure and function ofgroups that are now defined within the study as ‘mission focussed’. The second study produces a model of the elements that contribute to what certain members of such groups have identified as lasting difficulties. It is theorised that the mission focussed function of certain groups interacts with elements in some individuals (principally their perception of themselves as‘outsiders’ with a consequent high ‘need to belong’) to produce effects which participants within this research experience as lasting difficulties in living. The thesis goes on to explore which main-stream psychological paradigms might lend themselves to an understanding of this interaction and the emergent theory is related to psychotherapeutic constructs to derive an approach which may enable psychotherapists who undertake work with this client group to have a sound conceptual framework underlying their interventions. In the conclusion the potential generalisability of some of the constructs is considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HS Societies secret benevolent etc.