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Title: Exploring trust and the relational experiences of male clients within counselling for childhood sexual abuse
Author: Moriarty, Catherine
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2017
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Among the many researched outcomes of childhood sexual abuse (‘CSA’), relational difficulties have been well documented. However, male CSA survivors may experience several outcomes that are unique to their gendered experience and yet remain largely under-represented in the literature. A gap was identified in the research around the experience of the male survivor in therapy for childhood sexual abuse, particularly where it relates to relationship building. Therefore the research aimed to explore this from the perspective of the survivors, with a focus on trust within the therapeutic relationship. To achieve this, the researcher interviewed 6 male survivors of sexual abuse, all of whom had greater than one years’ experience in a therapy that focused on their abuse. The researcher adopted a semi-structured interview format which facilitates partial guidance by the new data introduced by the participant. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenal analysis with a consistent curiosity stance that allowed the researcher to partially bracket their prior knowledge. The analysis resulted in four master themes emerging; i) Finding and Connecting; ii) Negotiating Masculine identity, iii) Accepting and Committing to the process; and iv) Trust. Findings highlighted the necessity of reducing epistemic vigilance in the early relationship and the importance of negotiating power dynamics with support for challenge by the client in order to facilitate trust. The experience of masculine social expectations in a male CSA survivor is explored with regards to the trust relationship and an unexpected finding was made in the importance of group work. These findings were linked to previous research in the area of male CSA, recommendations are made for future research and implications for practitioners were explored.
Supervisor: Dubowski, Janek ; Bray, Diane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Psych.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Male ; survivors ; childhood sexual abuse ; therapeutic relationship ; relational ; trust ; qualitative