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Title: Caught in the complex web of words : a Foucauldian discourse analysis of Counselling Psychologists' accounts of grief work
Author: Davidson, Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 433X
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2015
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Even though loss and grief are common experiences, literatures informing counselling psychology illustrate some of the varied and problematic ways in which grief is talked about in psychological therapies. This study aimed to investigate and critique how counselling psychologists (CoPs) discursively construct grief in the context of their practice. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with accredited, practising CoPs who identified themselves as having worked with bereaved clients. The data was analysed, informed by a post-structuralist epistemological approach and a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA) was applied. The rationale for this approach resulted from these participants' accounts being resourced by diverse and power laden knowledges. Their multiple, conflicting and contrasting ways of talking about grief and bereavement counselling practices seemed to warrant closer attention. Specifically, the findings of this analysis identified three distinct subject positions; "The Expert Practitioner," "The Human to Human Practitioner" and "The Reflexive Practitioner." These subjectivities highlighted the multiple, mutable and contradictory spaces within which these CoP participants were located in their talk about grief work. Overall, these subject positions illustrate the heterogeneity and opacity in the language of grief work for counselling psychology. It is argued that these findings propose that CoPs working with multiple knowledges can cultivate a meta-perspective to appreciate the diverse, discursive power games in particular therapeutic accounts of grief work, as this research makes visible.
Supervisor: O'Callaghan, Jean Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available