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Title: The unique, evolving journey of recovery : clinicians' perceptions of recovery in child sexual abuse : a grounded theory study
Author: McArthur, Lorna Shaw
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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Aim: Research suggests that impact of childhood sexual abuse can be influenced by individual coping styles, attachment and environmental factors (Runtz & Schallow, 1997; Banyard, 2003). Consequently the nature of recovery amongst children and young people may vary considerably. Recent years have seen research focus on resilience and recovery. However, there remains debate as to definitions of recovery, efficacy of treatment interventions and validity of current theoretical models. As a result, research literature has yet to provide a unified developmental model of recovery following sexual abuse. This study therefore aimed to explore the meaning of recovery to clinicians currently working within child sexual abuse services. Method: In-depth interviews were carried out with twelve clinicians working within three child sexual abuse teams and were analysed using a constructivist Grounded Theory methodology (Charmaz, 2006). Results: Within this study clinicians perceived recovery from sexual abuse as a unique, evolving journey which was likely to continue across the lifespan. This journey involved returning to and moving through natural phases of growth and learning which had been interrupted or distorted through abusive experiences. Five distinct phases of recovery emerged; building safety and trust, integrating the experience, building familial relationships, finding self-worth and re-engaging with the world. Clinicians' described a uniquely developmentally sensitive view of recovery in which the significance of family relationships upon recovery was emphasised. Specific concerns around stigma and language use also emerged. Discussion: The findings from this study were discussed in the context of existing research literature in order that the implications for theory and clinical practice could be considered. A methodological critique was also provided.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available