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Title: Diagnosing and treating 'the voices' : the professionals' and clients' perspective
Author: Gearing, Dawn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 189X
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2012
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The aims of this study were to explore professionals’ and clients’ experiences of diagnosis and treatment of auditory verbal hallucinations with a view to identifying important clinical issues for counselling psychologists. Six professionals, three psychologists and three psychiatrists, who had worked with people who hear voices, alongside four clients who hear voices, volunteered and participated in a semi-structured interview. These interviews were transcribed and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as described by Smith, Flowers and Larkin (2009). A table of super-ordinate and sub-ordinate themes was created as a result of this analysis. A number of themes arose from both groups of participants’ experiences. The main themes that arose for the professionals was: professional ambivalence; varying theories on causes of voices; perspectives on diagnosis and formulation; perspectives on medication; thoughts on working therapeutically; and, thinking on recovery. The themes that arose from the clients’ experiences were feelings about diagnosis and experiences of treatment. This research concludes that there is professional ambivalence in working with people who hear voices that is caused by a lack of certainty about the causes of the phenomenon alongside a lack of training in working with clients who have symptoms of psychosis. This impacts clients in several ways. The clients in this study were not offered the option to have any involvement in their own care and none of them were offered therapy as a treatment option. The study also concludes that psychiatric diagnosis does not consider all pertinent information related to clients’ issues which can lead to inconsistency in the diagnosis of clients who hear voices.
Supervisor: Hart, Nicky; Hulbert-Williams, Nick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Couns.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: auditory ; verbal ; hallucinations ; schizophrenia ; psychosis ; psychiatric diagnosis ; treatment and interventions ; trauma ; childhood abuse ; dissociative symptoms ; psychiatric training ; psychological training ; side effects of antipsychotics ; Romme & Escher