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Title: The impact of the experience of working with CBT on counselling psychologists' professional identity
Author: Mantica, Valentina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 6732
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic modality which is commonly argued to be oriented to a medical model, and so to diverge significantly in theory and practice from the traditional relational and humanistic roots of counselling psychology. A large body of literature and research exists which examines counselling psychologists’ professional identity in medical settings, but there appears to be a significant gap in the extant literature relating to how counselling psychologists experience professional identity specifically in the practice of CBT, a therapeutic modality which presently provides a considerable amount of employment for counselling psychologists. To address this gap, the present study sought to explore qualitatively whether counselling psychologists’ experience of their professional identity is affected by the inclusion of CBT in their practice. A sample of eight counselling psychologists who worked with CBT and had been qualified for at least five years were interviewed. Data gathered from the semistructured interviews were transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), a method selected because it is concerned with the detailed examination of personal lived experience and the meaning of experience to participants. The methodology was approached within the contextual constructionist epistemological framework. Three superordinate themes, each containing four subordinate themes, emerged from participants’ accounts: (i) components of professional identity; (ii) the contribution of CBT to the professional self; and (iii) how CBT compromises the professional self. The findings are discussed in relation to the relevant literature, and lines of enquiry that have emerged have been located in current postmodern literature, arguments and debates. One main conclusion of the present study is that feeling comfortable with CBT can CBT, Counselling Psychology and Professional Identity 3 depend upon practitioners’ initial training, personal experience, cultural background, personal characteristics and personal beliefs – that is, the professional self as emerging from the personal self. Clinical implications, methodological limitations, directions for future research and reflections upon the researcher’s reflexivity are presented.
Supervisor: Mohiyeddini, Changiz ; House, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: professional identity ; counselling psychology ; cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) ; interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) ; medical model