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Title: Being single : a phenomenological exploration of the lived experience of single female counselling psychology trainees
Author: Taskar, Sandy
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 6325
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2017
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The number of single individuals in Western societies has increased and continues to rise. Research suggests that single women do not find it easy to be single. This thesis explores the lived experience of being single in female counselling psychology trainees. Seven single women engaged in semi-structured interview, which were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. From the analysis, four main themes emerged. The first was an existential search for relatedness, encompassing the realisation that human relationships are fundamentally necessary; participants experienced being single as a choice that provoked anxiety. The second theme, the paradox of singleness, highlighted ambivalent emotions regarding freedom, but also the absence of a partner. The third theme viewed the training as an all-demanding partner, leaving no space for a romantic relationship, and whose presence at times felt like the loss of one’s soul. The final theme of longing for a romantic relationship addressed participants’ relational longing, feelings of isolation, loneliness, sense of struggle and being different to individuals with a partner. The relational nature of the training brought participants’ singleness into their awareness and this was experienced as difficult. In line with the research examined in the literature review, this study confirms the overall experience of being single as an ambivalent one, which causes individuals to struggle with their singleness. Moreover, this study furthers the previous literature by examining the experience in a rarely studied group. The insights gained from this research have deepened our understanding of the experience of single female counselling psychology trainees and contribute to knowledge within the profession. Specifically, this study suggests that counselling psychology trainees would benefit from training that addresses relational issues and the experience of being single. This would lead to improved clinical practice with single clients and an enhanced awareness of their own process.
Supervisor: Nuttall, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Counselor trainees ; Single women--Psychology