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Title: An exploration into the experiences of non-religious clinical psychologists working with clients with religious beliefs
Author: McAllister, Fiona
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2002
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Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore, in depth, the experiences and practices of nonreligious clinical psychologists when working with clients with religious beliefs. The main objective was to understand the meanings of different experiences and practices and to begin to build up an explanatory theory for these using the psychologists’ own accounts. Design: The qualitative methodology of grounded theory was used in data collection and analysis, which were simultaneous. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews conducted by the researcher at the participants’ places of work. Participants: The participants were eight qualified NHS clinical psychologists who described themselves as having no religious beliefs. They all worked with adults using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Results: The psychologists discussed many different experiences and practices regarding working with clients with religious beliefs. There was some evidence showing their own personal religious backgrounds and current beliefs to influence their practice. They also showed uncertainty about whether discussing religious issues was within the clinical psychologist’s role. Conclusions: It is concluded that psychologists with no identified religious beliefs are still susceptible to allowing their belief systems to impact on therapy and need to be aware of this possibility. The use of qualitative methodology allowed for in-depth understanding of the experiences of the psychologists and for an interesting exploratory study in this relatively new area of research in Britain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available