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Title: How trainees experience the process of becoming a counselling psychologist with reference to anxiety : a phenomenological investigation
Author: Loibner, Natalie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 5828
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Previous studies have suggested that becoming a counsellor takes place according to stages and that development can be explained through the achievement of specified tasks. The professional training process is also understood to give rise to considerable anxiety with this traditionally conceptualised as a predominately negative experience hindering the learning process. The aims of the current study were: 1) to understand and identify how counselling psychology trainees make sense of and experience their development in becoming counselling psychologists, 2) to understand how anxiety is implicated in trainees’ growth and development into becoming counselling psychologists, and 3) through the application of an empirical existential phenomenological framework to promote an alternative perspective to the dominant medical model in relation to anxiety and the meaning attached to this experience in the process of becoming a counselling psychologist. Five trainee counselling psychologists and two recently qualified counselling psychologists were interviewed for this research project. The phenomenological analysis identified situated structural descriptions with the themes from these individual accounts forming the basis of a general structural description of the phenomenon of anxiety in becoming a counselling psychologist. By means of this existential phenomenological analysis, the multiple meanings attached to the experience of becoming with reference to anxiety were investigated. Two important findings emerged namely; 1) anxiety was not a negative, debilitating process for the trainees and 2) that counselling psychology’s pluralist theoretical affiliations whilst anxiety provoking contributed to the depth of transformation experienced by trainees. By adopting a pluralistic stance ambiguity was found to be prevalent in the experience of anxiety; this opened up the possibilities for becoming for this group of trainees. Therefore a non
Supervisor: Richards, Angela ; O'Callaghan, Jean Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: counselling psychologists ; professional training