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Title: The psychological experience of acquiring a communication impairment in adulthood and the therapeutic implications
Author: Adams, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 1778
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2019
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There is little research exploring the psychological experience of acquiring a CI(communication impairment) in adulthood, possibly due to a perception that people with a CI are unable to participate in an interview (Bronken, Kirkecold, Martinsen, Wyller and Kvigne 2012). This study seeks to challenge this perception and explore the experiences of adults who have had to adjust to a change in their communication due to a stroke or head injury. Five participants were interviewed (3 face to face and 2 by email) about their experience from the moment they realised their communication had changed until the current day. All of the participants were 2 years or more post acquiring their CI. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results indicate the levels of fear, anxiety and confusion triggered at the time of acquiring the CI and a need for more awareness of CIs within hospital environments. The importance of compassionate communication and psychological support within healthcare services was noted. Aninstinctual drive or motivation to find an alternative way to communicate and adetermination to keep communicating were also highlighted, as well the challenges of living with a CI; including a lack of awareness within society. The study also highlights the significance of expressive writing, singing, humour, laughter and finding the positive to support recovery, adjustment to living with the CI and psychological well-being in the longer term. Considerations for what could be offered therapeutically by counselling psychologists are discussed throughout. Gaps in the literature and further areas for research are identified, such as attachment history and acquiring a CI and the impact of a CI on the family homeostasis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Couns.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: communication impairment ; aphasia ; locked-in ; psychology ; stroke