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Title: The influence of spiritual beliefs on seeking and receiving help for psychological problems
Author: Mayers, Claire
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
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This qualitative study explored how people with spiritual beliefs experienced seeking and receiving help for mental health problems. Ten people who were currently engaged in, or had recently finished therapy, with a clinical psychologist in the NHS were interviewed. The interview inquired about the type of help they encountered, before and during therapy, and what was helpful or unhelpful from each person's perspective. The resultant transcripts were analysed according to the principles of interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Seven themes captured the key elements of the participants' experiences: these were organised into two higher order domains. The first domain, 'Dilemmas of help-seeking' represented the process that led up to the participant's inception into therapy with a clinical psychologist. The second domain, 'Process of therapy' encompassed the experience of therapy and the interface between the participants' religious/spiritual beliefs and the theories, models and ideas provided by the therapist. Many people used their spirituality to help them to cope with their mental health problems, before and during their therapy. Contrary to expectations, a match between the spiritual affiliation of the therapist and service user was, overall, not judged to be important. Some of the service users found that the clinical psychologist was able to provide an intervention that was inclusive of their religious/spiritual beliefs, which was experienced as helpful. The implications of these findings for researchers, mental health professionals and services are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available