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Title: "At times I wasn't sure how to position myself in the room - as a trainee or as a client" : an interpretative phenomenological analysis of trainee counselling psychologists' experiences of disclosure in personal therapy and its impact on personal and professional development
Author: Yeasmin, Masuoodah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 8148
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2014
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Existing literature indicates that individuals experience difficulties with disclosure. Disclosure involves revealing personal information about oneself, both verbally and non-verbally, that may be considered difficult or not disclosed previously, owing to one’s own negative feelings about the information, or a fear that others may respond judgmentally. Various research and theoretical models have aimed to provide explanations as to what facilitates and hinders the process of disclosure. However, to date, trainee counselling psychologists’ experiences of disclosure in personal therapy is under-represented, particularly within qualitative research. This research aimed to explore trainee counselling psychologists’ experiences of disclosure in personal therapy and its impact on personal and professional development. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six trainee counselling psychologists in their final year of training and transcripts were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Four master themes emerged from the analytic process: ‘Disclosing the self’; ‘The therapeutic process and disclosure’; ‘Process of disclosure’ and ‘Impact of disclosure: Personal and professional development’. The themes illustrate how trainee counselling psychologists’ initial difficulties with disclosure in therapy stem from their struggle with adopting a client role, their sense of the self as imperfect and a fear of rejection. Moreover, the findings highlight how this struggle results in the development of a divided and false self. The themes further illustrate how other factors within therapy facilitate and hinder disclosure, for instance, the therapist’s qualities and responses to disclosures. How and when disclosure takes place was also described by participants, illustrating that this experience is rather subjective. The participants also described how disclosure facilitated understanding of the self and the role of a counselling psychologist, enabling the integration of their dual roles. In light of these findings, suggestions for trainee counselling psychologists, qualified psychologists and training providers are made. These suggestions centre upon trainee counselling psychologists’ willingness to disclose, open discussions between therapists, trainees and training providers and additional training for therapists.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral