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Title: How to survive and flourish : a case study and research informed-model of self-care and stress in trainee counselling psychologists
Author: Scott, Adam
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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Aims: This study aims to use trainee counselling psychologists' conceptualisations and experiences to create a research-informed model of self-care and stress. In order to do this, the study integrated the basic tenets of humanistic psychology, theory relating to human potentiality and motivation, pluralistic practice and the relevant research literature around self-care and stress in trainee counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists. Methods: The study was qualitative in nature and utilised a theory-building case study design. The research participants where 12 trainee counselling psychologists enrolled on a Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology in the United Kingdom. A research-informed model of self-care and stress was developed from the relevant research and theory literature. The findings from the 12 semi-structured interviews with the trainees were applied to this model in order to contextualise and refine it. Findings: The data from the interviews was analysed using a thematic analysis and the following categories and themes were discovered: category one - conceptualisations of self-care with caring for self, caring for others and self-actualising as its lower order themes; category two - self-care strategies, with keeping work-life in balance, caring for my physical well-being, getting support from other people and realising there is more to life as its lower order themes; category three -conceptualisations of stress with theoretical understandings of stress, physical impact of stress and psychological impact of stress as its lower order themes; the final category - sources of stress with demands and pressures, financial strains, unhealthy relationships and personal and professional development as its lower order themes. Discussion: The revised research-informed model suggests a number of goals, tasks and methods of self-care and a number of practical examples for each of these areas. According to the model, the goals of self-care involve nurturing trainees' potentiality to become fully functioning trainee counselling psychologists through learning to care for self, others and self-actualising. The tasks of self-care are promoting trainees' wellbeing through meeting their training needs (social support, academic, developmental and placement). Finally, the model suggests the methods of self-care should encourage intentional individual and organisational engagement in strategies which enable trainees to meet their training needs. The study recommends the model is applicable to counselling psychology regulatory bodies and training programmes, as well as individual trainee counselling psychologists. It also proposes further development of the model through research and testing.
Supervisor: Hanley, Terry Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.Couns.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Self-care ; Stress ; Humanistic psychology ; Pluralism ; Research-informed practice ; Trainee counselling psychologists ; Training needs ; Human potentiality ; Self-actualisation