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Title: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of mental health workers' experiences of service users' anger in supported housing services
Author: Lowe, Rebecca
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2012
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The anger of mental health service users is commonly found to challenge mental health workers in supported housing schemes, which mostly consist of clinically untrained staff. This research responds in part to that challenge as well as a recent trend to increase psychological consultancy within supported housing services, which have traditionally employed staff without specific therapeutic training. The specific objective of the study aims to explore and uncover mental health workers' experiences of working with service users' anger within supported housing settings. Based upon that rationale, a qualitative design was chosen and the specific method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse six semi-structured interviews with six untrained mental health workers; three male and three female, all of whom worked in supported housing projects in London, UK. The findings indicated a complex process based upon three main themes of 'encountering and experiencing anger with service users', 'managing and facilitating service users anger' and 'the organisational context shapes my work'. The findings were found to support various aspects of existing research on anger, whilst also arguing for more research on understanding supported housing services, personal responses to emotion and interventions. The implications of the findings are that mental health workers require awareness of their own emotional responses and ways to manage these. They also require skills with which to understand, relate to and engage with service users. Counselling Psychology can contribute to this work by providing support to reflect on and make sense of encounters with service users and to discuss interventions. This could be done through individual or team supervision, reflective spaces in teams or in training. In addition, the organisational context of the service is experienced as both supportive and conflictive and therefore wider organisational consultancy, including managerial inclusion for psychological reflection is considered necessary.
Supervisor: Cotter, Angela Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available