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Title: An exploration of trainee counselling psychologists' experience of communicating in a foreign language (English) in clinical practice
Author: Golovina, Anastasiya
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2013
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This study contributes to the limited but growing body of research on bilingual clinical practice among British counselling psychologists (Stevens & Holland, 2008; Georgiadou, 2013). It gives voice to a small group of people who practise counselling psychology in English as a foreign language and belong to the known 4.1% of trainee counselling psychologists currently registered with the BPS who can work in what for them is a foreign language. Using IPA to explore the experiences of six bilingual trainee counselling psychologists who practise in English in the UK, it focuses on the process of verbal communication that trainees engage in with their clients. Three super-ordinate themes emerge from analysis of participants’ narratives. The first, Unavoidable Self-Disclosure, addresses the inter-relational revealing of oneself to the other, often accompanied by feelings of shame. Effortful Internal Supervision, the second theme, explores trainees’ internal censorship of the therapeutic interaction, including their commute between languages. Thirdly, Struggle and Transformation encompasses the dynamic process by which language difficulties are coped with, and the links between this and the development of professional confidence. The research is significant in several respects. It gives voice to previously unreported experiences, using a qualitative research paradigm and methodology to probe an area previously reported mainly through clinical vignettes. Its utilisation of IPA suggests another possible application of this psychological method. Its findings, which suggest that the cross-linguistic practice of counselling psychology can be experienced as demanding, problematic yet also rewarding, having important implications for such areas as training and supervision. Significantly for health care professionals working with bilinguals, most trainees interviewed experience some degree of distance from their clients (and from themselves) when practising in English, engage reflexivity continuously as they seek to improve their communication, and ultimately find English an inseparable element of a transformed professional identity.
Supervisor: Luca, Maria ; Nuttall, John ; Pearmain, Rosalind Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available