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Title: The role of anomalous phenomena in the therapeutic process : an exploration of counselling psychologists' experience
Author: Ryklina, Tatiana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 7225
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2012
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The main focus of this research was to explore how counselling psychologists experience what that they cannot understand in the therapeutic process. The study focuses on how counselling psychologists make sense of and manage these experiences, as well as the role such experiences play in therapy. Although the existence of such occurrences are acknowledged in the foundations of many therapeutic approaches (Bion, 1970; Bugental, 1990; Freud 1915; Jung, 1923; Maslow, 1971; Ogden, 1999; Perls, 1973; Rogers, 1961; Stern, 2004) , there seems to be a lack of research in relation to how these phenomena are experienced and what role they play in the therapeutic process. Eight counselling psychologists with ten years of experience in clinical practice were recruited and interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Different aspects of these experiences were explored through applying the qualitative method known as Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 2004). The findings suggest that the way counselling psychologists experience phenomena that cannot be understood strongly relates to anxiety, fear and uncertainty, drawing attention to deep feelings of vulnerability and insecurity. The results demonstrate the ambivalent meanings of such experiences in the therapeutic process, and their significance in the process of therapy. The thesis also comprises the way in which counselling psychologists spoke about these phenomena and how these occurrences were managed by counselling psychologists. Some conclusions were made about what kind of knowledge counselling psychologists relied on while making sense of such phenomena. The recommendations made as a result of the research show validity as they closely relate to the way counselling psychologists explore their own identity as professionals. Also, the research highlighted the essentiality of exploring the role of theoretical knowledge and reflexivity for counselling psychologists. The research also explores unanticipated findings such as the existence of those experiences that need to remain undefinable and the ability of counselling psychologists to let go of the need to make sense of phenomena. The study also addresses the limitations and implications of the research, and suggestions for further research are indicated.
Supervisor: Bray, Diane ; Davies, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: counselling psychology ; therapeutic process