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Title: Social justice in UK counselling psychology : exploring the perspectives of members of the profession who have a high interest in, and commitment to, social justice
Author: Cutts, Laura Anne
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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Background and objectives: Despite a large amount of theoretical literature, empirical research into the area of social justice in counselling psychology has been limited to date. Furthermore, no research has explored this topic from the perspective of UK based counselling psychologists. The overarching purpose of this study was therefore to explore the social justice interest and commitment of members of the UK counselling psychology profession. Method and analyses: A mixed methods design was employed. A preliminary quantitative survey phase was followed by the priority stage of the research, in which qualitative interviews were conducted with six members of the counselling psychology profession with at least a moderate interest in, and commitment to, social justice. Qualitative data were analysed using tools from the grounded theory approach. Connection of the two phases of research occurred at participant selection for the qualitative phase and in the interpretation phase. Findings: Quantitative findings were limited; however, comparative to previous studies using the same measure, members of the counselling psychology profession have lower levels of social justice interest and commitment. Qualitative findings highlighted two core categories within the data: ‘Counselling psychologists’ understanding of social justice in counselling psychology and their connection to it’ and ‘Counselling psychologists’ reflections on social justice action’. Conclusions: The qualitative findings extend our understanding of counselling psychologists’ social justice interest and commitment and aid interpretation of the initial quantitative findings. Participants defined social justice in a way which is largely consistent with the theoretical literature but reported some difficulties with this which may be due to training in the area. Results relating to social justice action indicate that whilst some UK-based counselling psychologists are acting on their social justice values, there are numerous issues which potentially limit this. Recommendations for theory, further research and practice are discussed.
Supervisor: Hanley, Terry ; Ballinger, Liz Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Couns.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social justice ; Counselling psychology