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Title: A portfolio of work on self-control, professional growth, supervision and relevance to counselling psychology
Author: Tondowski, Mona
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 2134
Awarding Body: City University
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This portfolio comprises three separate, yet connected pieces of work. The first is a critical literature review, the second an empirical research project and the third an extended case study. Each piece may be viewed as distinct in terms of evidencing different "core competencies" that the Health Professions Council (HPC, 2009) requires counselling psychologists to achieve, which is one of the core reasons for choosing to present these three specific pieces of work. A secondary reason is a particular investigative thread that connects each piece, one with another. The collective work in this portfolio is related to the professional development of counselling psychologists and is relevant to other types of therapeutic practitioners, for example clinical psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors. The first section of the portfolio is a literature review, which provides the foundation for my empirical research project. The aim of the literature review was to critically evaluate current theories and research concerning the specific role that emotions play in self-control behaviour. The rationale for exploring this topic in detail is the assumption that emotions and self-control are two omnipotent aspects of therapy; each having implications not only for clients, but also for therapeutic practitioners. In my role as a Counselling Psychologist, I have found that it is not unusual for clients to report difficulties in self-control and to engage in self-destructive or maladaptive behaviour as a consequence of intense emotions. I therefore propose that successful therapeutic work requires practitioners to be able to regulate their own emotions and understand the influence of self-control on behaviour. The critical literature review reveals that emotional valence (i.e. whether emotions are positive or negative) has an impact on ability to self-regulate. In general, positive emotions seem to play a beneficial role whilst negative emotions play a detrimental role for self- control. However, this is not a generalisable finding, as there is evidence to suggest that there are particular situations where positive and negative emotions may have the opposite effect. Despite relevance to the field of therapeutic practitioners, the literature review identifies a lack of research and a number of limitations to existing research studies on this topic, specifically within clinical and counselling settings. Hence, it is proposed that this review will be of interest amongst therapeutic practitioners to further investigate the relationship between emotions and self-control more specifically within counselling and clinical settings so as to help improve both treatments for clients' self-destructive behaviour (e.g. binge-drinking, binge-eating, smoking, gambling) and practitioners' professional efficiency. Additionally, I believe that this literature review demonstrates my ability to critically evaluate and report on research (HPC, 2009).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology