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Title: Heresy, hope and the Holy Grail : a critical exploration of constructions of diagnosis of Internet mental health forums
Author: Spedding, Sam
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2013
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This portfolio of work is divided into three sections: an Academic Dossier, a Therapeutic Practice Dossier and a Research Dossier. They contain papers written during the three years of my doctoral training in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology. Although the papers have been organised in this way, there are considerable overlaps between the different areas. In fact, I have explicitly examined these overlaps between science and practice, between theory and experience - particularly in the General Introduction, in the Therapeutic Practice Dossier and in the final piece of research I present, whose method incorporates psychotherapeutic process into the process of data collection and analysis. The examination of these overlaps is also echoed in other papers here which bring to attention the constructed nature of the divisions between diagnostic categories in mental health. Mental health diagnosis is also the predominant object of the deconstructive stance that I have assumed in most of the work here. Deconstructionism has been at the heart of the method of all three papers presented in the Research Dossier, especially the study in the title above, which analyses constructions of diagnosis on the internet. I have also attempted to deconstruct my own clinical development and to an extent aspects of psychotherapeutic models (the relationship in cognitive behavioural therapy and psychotic development in psychoanalytic theory) that I write about in the Academic Dossier. Having deconstructed, I have also attempted to be constructive: for example, I have propose a schematic for the relationship in cognitive behavioural therapy; I suggest how a post-structuralist framework might be used to enrich cognitive therapy in an inpatient setting; and I model a psychosocial research method that uses skills derived from clinical and theoretical learning as a trainee counselling psychologist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available