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Title: Exploring psychological therapists' experiences of working with clients who perceive themselves as living in poverty : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Ballo, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 3922
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2020
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This study seeks to understand how therapists experience their work with clients who selfrefer as living in poverty. Poverty is very rarely highlighted within counselling psychology publications and very little empirical research exists relating to how therapists understand this phenomenon. The under researched nature of poverty is surprising given this issue is becoming a topic of current debates alongside a rise in the number of individuals living in poverty and self-referring for therapy. The present study highlights a range of difficulties that therapists may face whilst working with clients living in poverty, how these difficulties may affect the work and how such difficulties are managed. The aim of these findings is to increase current knowledge about what is possible within the world of therapy and to raise awareness from which practitioners, students, training institutions and policy makers could become more informed. Eight psychotherapists took part in semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used in analysing the data. The results elicited three superordinate themes: the first, “Resilience in the struggle to engage with therapeutic work”, the second theme involved “Struggling to promote social activism” and thirdly, “Navigating multiple challenges and barriers’. The findings are examined in light of how they illuminate and diverge from various aspects of poverty-related literature and research. Suggestions are made for training, supervision, and practice, and for future research relating to poverty and mental health.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.Couns.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Poverty and Therapist experience ; therapy ; client living in poverty