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Title: Narratives of experts by experience and conceptualisations of mental health
Author: Cooke, Samantha
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2012
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This doctoral thesis broadly explores lived experience of mental health "recovery" and narratives of experts by experience. Both "recovery" and "service user involvement" are key concepts in mental health service provision; however the thesis explores the contrast of rhetoric with lived experiences. The thesis comprises a literature review, a research paper and a critical review. In addition, a final section is dedicated to the ethical procedures undertaken prior to undertaking the research. The literature review adopts a meta-study approach in order to synthesise the findings of nine qualitative papers studying lived experience of mental health recovery in the UK. Three overarching concepts are suggested: "social relations", "life is changing" and "reclamation of experience". Additionally the methodological and theoretical aspects are critically appraised and implications for the recovery agenda considered. The research paper explores narratives of experts by experience who deliver training in partnership on the subject of personality disorder. A narrative framework led to a temporal understanding of how the role impacts on life stories. In particular the findings suggest that early experiences were characterised by powerlessness, which were followed by a process of identity changes as a professional 'self emerged in taking up the trainer role. These findings were linked to social identity theories and relevant political contexts. Finally, the critical review presents personal reflections and a further critique of the research process. This paper includes an exploration of the dialogue and interaction between researcher and participants and a consideration of the importance of narratives. Overall the thesis highlights the social construction of mental health experience and the impact of social, political and cultural contexts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available