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Title: Aspects and stories of helpful therapy and outcomes : a narrative enquiry
Author: Curtis, Suzanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2715 099X
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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This research is concerned with the question of what constitutes a good therapeutic outcome and which therapeutic practices are most likely to bring this about. It comprises, first, a narrative literature review which examines recent claims of 'positive psychologists' to have devised interventions that are more effective at directly increasing human 'happiness' and well-being than those that aim to reduce distress. This review concludes that such claims are not backed up by clear evidence, that they lack conceptual clarity and that it is therefore not clear that the field of positive psychology has added anything new to clinical practice. The qualitative analysis of the narratives of former therapy clients who have assessed their therapy as helpful forms the basis for the main research paper, which explores clients' stories of what constitutes helpful therapy. The paper constructs and discusses a single shared plot line that is common to all participants and concludes that helpful therapy is that which helps clients to construct their own sense of understanding and 'story' about their difficulties as well as to develop some strategies for dealing with their effects. The critical review takes a reflective stance to considering how far the research study has represented the range of clients' views on the therapeutic practices that they find useful. It considers one particular study participant whose narrative suggests that the shared story derived from the research paper may represent only one of a range of possible different conceptions of 'helpful therapy', that which occurs when clients use therapy as a discrete and focused episode in their life rather than an ongoing source of support and development. The paper concludes that future research could benefit from exploring with service users different conceptions of the role of therapy that might lead to different 'stories'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available