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Title: The personal and professional integration of lesbian and gay clinical psychology trainees : challenges and opportunities
Author: Butler, Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 1118
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2003
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The study investigated lesbian and gay trainees' personal and professional integration using qualitative and quantitative methods. Three gay and six lesbian trainees were recruited by snowballing in the trainee and lesbian/gay communities and via a website for lesbian and gay students. Semi-structured interviews were analysed by means of an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), alongside two standardised questionnaires (GHQ-28 and COPE) measuring psychological distress and coping strategies respectively. A greater percentage of participants scored above the cut-off for caseness on the GHQ than has been reported in previous studies, and the scores reflected a trend that lesbians reported more distress, as has been reported in research on professional women. A number of themes were identified through the IP A, highlighting the challenges faced, the coping strategies employed and the strengths participants brought into training. Participants held knowledge and experience about lesbian and gay issues beyond that considered by their courses. This position brought tensions between being an educator and a student, which were coped with by assessing when to speak or stay quiet. Further barriers for personal and professional integration included a lack of staff support and displays of anti-lesbian and gay sentiment by course staff, supervisors, lecturers and peers, although participants recruited support from outside their course. The consequence of such challenges left some participants considering leaving the profession. These findings suggest that courses are still in the early stages of meeting the British Psychological Society's (2002) accreditation guidelines, which encourage diversity within trainee cohorts and facilitation of reflection and support to develop personal/professional integration. This study provides some clear guidelines for course development and directions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available