Mills, Sarah (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-10)
Research psychologists often complain that practitioners disregard research evidence whilst practitioners sometimes accuse researchers of failing to produce evidence with sufficient ecological validity. The tension that thus arises is highlighted, using the specific illustrative examples of two treatment methods for post-traumatic disorder (PTSD): Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and exposure based interventions. Contextual reasons for the success or failure of particular treatment models that are often only tangentially related to the theoretical underpinnings of the models are discussed. Suggestions regarding what might be learnt from these debates are put forward and implications for future research are discussed.
Hillyer, Rachael (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-10)
The poor outcomes of young people leaving foster care are well documented and demand a focus on placement permanency and interventions that encourage stability (Rubin et al, 2007). The need for better support for foster carers is widely acknowledged (Warman, Pallet & Scott, 2006; Morgan & Baron, 2011). To provide effective support an understanding of foster carers support needs is required. A qualitative approach explored the support needs of foster carers who look after young people perceived to have emotional and behavioural difficulties. Semi- structured interviews were undertaken with 17 foster carers employed by a local authority or an Independent Fostering Agency. A grounded theory methodology within a social constructionist framework was used to develop a new theoretical understanding from the data. A central storyline of ‘keeping your head above water’ emerged and appeared to encapsulate daily struggles and ways of managing. Categories which contributed to this were ‘becoming isolated’ from other professionals, ‘role ambiguity’ regarding the multiple meanings attached to being a foster carer, ‘making sense of emotional and behavioural difficulties’ highlighting a need to understand the children cared for, ‘a focus on behaviours’ illuminating approaches to parenting and ‘unmet emotional needs’ which is a possible consequence of focussing on children’s behaviours. The emergent theory may hold potential for developing psychological formulations, interventions and training programmes for foster carers. Suggestions for future support are put forward based on the new theoretical framework. Applications of the findings to Counselling Psychology are discussed in detail.
Gearing, Dawn (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-03)
The aims of this study were to explore professionals’ and clients’ experiences of diagnosis and treatment of auditory verbal hallucinations with a view to identifying important clinical issues for counselling psychologists. Six professionals, three psychologists and three psychiatrists, who had worked with people who hear voices, alongside four clients who hear voices, volunteered and participated in a semi-structured interview. These interviews were transcribed and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as described by Smith, Flowers and Larkin (2009). A table of super-ordinate and sub-ordinate themes was created as a result of this analysis. A number of themes arose from both groups of participants’ experiences. The main themes that arose for the professionals was: professional ambivalence; varying theories on causes of voices; perspectives on diagnosis and formulation; perspectives on medication; thoughts on working therapeutically; and, thinking on recovery. The themes that arose from the clients’ experiences were feelings about diagnosis and experiences of treatment. This research concludes that there is professional ambivalence in working with people who hear voices that is caused by a lack of certainty about the causes of the phenomenon alongside a lack of training in working with clients who have symptoms of psychosis. This impacts clients in several ways. The clients in this study were not offered the option to have any involvement in their own care and none of them were offered therapy as a treatment option. The study also concludes that psychiatric diagnosis does not consider all pertinent information related to clients’ issues which can lead to inconsistency in the diagnosis of clients who hear voices.
Thompson, Maria (University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
This mixed methods study investigates how counselling psychology perspectives can collaborate with the Sikh community in the development of Older Adult Psychology Services. 73 Sikh participants, aged 45-65 years contributed in English and Punjabi through interview, questionnaire or focus group at multiple community sites across 3 metropolitan boroughs in Sandwell. Qualitative data from validated scenarios and personal experience were analysed by a thematic approach informed by Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Master themes were identified for religion, quality of life and service development. The SF12v2 (Ware et al., 2005) is a measure of health and well-being which showed just below average population norms for physical and mental health components of well-being for the Sikh Community. The God Locus of Health Control Scale (Wallston et al., 1999) demonstrated religion‟s importance, and how karma is integral to Sikhs‟ understanding and management of health. 80.6% (N=31) prefer older adult service providers to account for their religious beliefs and counselling psychologists are recommended to address this request in their engagement with this community. Preferences in the modes of delivery, types of psychological intervention and aids to service uptake are provided with recommendations for clinical practice, training and future research.
Williams, Samantha (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-10)
AIMS Unmet needs have mainly been investigated with formal and informal adult caregivers and ill individuals within psycho-oncology; findings indicate unmet needs are associated with negative affective state and caregiver burden. Research relating to adolescent children’s experiences of unmet needs during parental illness has, in the main, been based upon parental reports or professional opinion, yet research suggests that parental reports can downplay the effects and it is important to ask the adolescent child for their opinion. Adolescence is a transitional time in development; this may make the illness experience and subsequent needs vary from those of formal and informal adult caregivers. This thesis pragmatically investigates adolescent children’s firsthand accounts of unmet psychosocial and supportive care needs when they have a parent with a non-communicable disease. METHODS Systematic Review To inform the direction of the thesis and capture all relevant published literature, a comparative systematic review was carried on adolescent’s experiences of unmet needs when they have a parent with a NCD, cancer or psychological problem. The review was conducted using standardized procedures and guidance from the Cochrane collaboration. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis 3 Qualitative methodology was used to investigate seven adolescent’s experiences of unmet psychosocial and supportive care needs in relation to having a parent with a NCD. Participants were recruited through institutions of further and higher education. Quantitative Research Pearson’s correlation and multiple regressions were used to test associations between unmet needs, depression, stress, anxiety and quality of life, and to determine the applicability of the revised version of the Offspring Cancer Needs Inventory (OCNI) for individuals who have a parent with a NCD. One hundred and seven adolescent children completed the revised version of the OCNI, the DASS-21 (depression, anxiety, and stress) and AC-QoL (Adult carers’ quality of life) scales. FINDINGS Systematic Review In the review 1479 papers were considered. Seven met the inclusion criteria, of these five papers related to cancer, one to chronic illness and one to psychological problems. Results suggest that adolescents had informational, supportive and recreational needs, and did not want to worry parents by asking them questions. The lack of hits and the disparity between illness groups is problematic in making comparisons and drawing definitive conclusions. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Four interdependent themes emerged from the data, two relating to interpersonal needs (Information Needs and Support Needs), and two relating to intrapersonal needs (Need for 4 Acknowledgement and Need to be Them-Self), each had their own number of sub-themes. Adolescent’s had a variety of needs that could be partially met through honest and accurate information, interpersonal support and acknowledgment of their caring role within the family. The interdependence of the needs indicated that the fulfilment of one need has the potential of meeting other needs. Unmet needs were comparable to those of adolescent children who have a parent with cancer; as such it was deemed that the new version of the OCNI would be suitable for use with individuals who had a parent with a NCD. Quantitative Research Ninety-Three percent of adolescents reported at least one unmet need. Analysis suggests that the unmet needs variables were co-dependent and correlated with depression, stress, anxiety, and quality of life. Certain unmet need variables predicted stress, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. CONCLUSION The findings of this thesis indicate that adolescent children who have a parent with a NCD have a variety of unmet needs, and that these are associated with affective state and well-being. It is suggested that counselling psychologists are well placed to provide psychological and needs based interventions based upon the findings within this thesis. More research is required in this area to determine cause and effect; owing to counselling psychologists working with the lifespan they would be well placed to further the knowledge in this area.
Briggs, David John (University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
This thesis comprises three main sections: a literature review, research report and a critical appraisal of the research process. The literature review is generic across a number of health professions and begins by placing supervision within its historical context followed by an attempt to clarify our current understanding of supervision. The literature relating to effective supervision is presented, with the supervisory working alliance being identified as potentially one of the most important common factors in the change process of supervision (Ellis, 1991). A review of supervision models suggests that they provide a structure for understanding the roles, relationships, responsibilities and processes integral to the practice of supervision. The review attempts to clarify the current state of supervision training, highlighting the lack of attention that has been paid to the process by which individuals learn to become effective supervisees and supervisors. It is concluded that there is a need for further research in the area of training for both supervisees and supervisors. The research report comprises a qualitative study using interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the supervision experiences of six Chartered Counselling Psychologists. The thematic content that emerged indicated a lack of preparation for the role of supervisee and a lack of formal training for the supervisory role. The findings revealed that the participants relied upon self-directed learning, their previous experience and their therapeutic skills to inform their supervisory practice. The findings also highlighted the critical role of the supervisory relationship for both supervisee and supervisor in managing the anxieties generated by this lack of preparation and training as well as in supporting the learning and development of all involved in the relationship. The final section is the researcher’s critical appraisal of the research process.
Mundra, Neha (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-01)
The purpose of this study was to explore whether Indian counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK practice in an indigenous way with their Indian clients. The aim was to find out more information about the different types of Indian indigenous interventions that may currently be used by these professionals. The study also bridges the gap in the literature about the lack of research on the practical uses and applications of Indian indigenous counselling skills in the UK.The study reports data from six face-to-face open-ended semi-structured interviews with Indian counsellors who have been trained in Western psychotherapeutic approaches and have knowledge of Indian psychotherapeutic approaches. The research was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Firstly, the analysis concluded the use of several Indian indigenous interventions used by the participants, such as Prekshadhyan which can be used for psychosomatic pain relief, Jain virtue of forgiveness which can be useful for working with sexual abuse, use of spirituality and cultural beliefs for bereavement, and so on. Secondly, the analysis identified some of the most common barriers to therapy (e.g. stigmas and taboos) experienced by Indian clients in the UK, and it provided suggestions on how to overcome these. Finally, the analysis suggested factors that therapists should pay attention to (e.g. client context and use of Indian languages) in order to maximise Indian clients’ engagement in therapy and to minimise their exclusion from it.
Ruggeri, Susan (University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
This study investigated the experience of humour of people with Asperger’s syndrome. It aimed to explore the lived experience of this phenomenon. A literature review was undertaken which revealed that people with Asperger’s syndrome are thought not to have a sense of humour and a number of theories are proposed to explain the difficulties that may be experienced in regard to humour. In order to gain insight into the lived experience a qualitative approach was adopted using semi structured research interviews with eight, adult, male participants. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was then used to illuminate the “insider perspective”. The analysis highlighted four main themes, the experience of difference, the experience of learning, what I find amusing and how I use humour. It was suggested that people with Asperger’s syndrome do have a sense of humour but they may need to put in extra effort to develop it. The importance of individuality and acceptance of differences was also recognised. The report highlighted a number of clinical implications such as the role humour plays in social interactions and the importance of asking questions rather than making assumptions when working with people with Asperger’s syndrome.
Rose, Julia Margaret Scott (University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
“Prison self-injury rate accelerates at four times the rise in population” (The Howard League for Penal Reform; 2008a) The rise in self-harm figures in forensic settings in 2003 may largely be due to the improvement in the reporting of self-harm levels in prisons in December 2002. However it does not account for the continued rise in self-harm figures during the years that followed. Despite the increase, there have been few interventions to support prisoners who self-harm, particularly in remand settings. For this purpose the Carousel programme was designed by a counselling psychologist specifically to meet the demands of the female remand population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Carousel. Forty women who had a history of deliberate self-harm entered and completed the programme through means of self-referral. The study employed both a quantitative and qualitative methodology to evaluate the programme. Participants were interviewed and assessed both at the start and completion of Carousel. This included monitoring levels of self-harm incidents, levels of anxiety and depression using the 14-item Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) (Zigmond & Snaith, 1983), and coping levels using the 60-item Coping Styles Questionnaire (CSQ) (Roger, Jarvis & Najarian, 1993). Results showed a significant decrease in depression and anxiety, a reduction in self-harm levels and a change of coping styles in the desired direction. Qualitative methodology using content analysis was employed to ascertain the components of the programme which were deemed most helpful or unhelpful to the participants. Findings suggest that the most useful components within the programme are coping strategies, management of self-harm behaviours, antecedent, behaviour and consequence (ABC) sessions and the understanding of the brain and associated emotions with self-harm behaviours. Implications for counselling psychology and clinical practice are highlighted and limitations of the current study and directions for future research suggested within the report.
Internet-based therapies are growing in number and popularity and cover a diverse range of practices for both individuals and groups. In concordance with the hyperpersonal theory and online disinhibition effect, people more readily disclose personal information when conducted via the internet. Due to technological constraints and social interactions, a non-standard language developed and has widely been termed “netspeak” (Crystal, 2006). Emotional words are processed differently to non-emotional words. Further, people do not connect with abbreviations on the same emotional level as they do when the words are written in full. Three studies were conducted: the first focused on assessing if a short emotionally evocative mini-biography had an emotional impact on participants. This material was then used in a second study which was a mass-testing of 62 young people on whether netspeak can change the impact on mood. The study used 3 conditions whereby participants re-wrote the mini-biography into either full English, using Netspeak or in their own words. A new vignette was created from the Netspeak condition to use as material for a third study. This final study was conducted via email into how much a psychological therapist understood what had been written in the Netspeak vignette. No differences were seen from re-writing an emotional biography in netspeak to English. Although psychological therapists demonstrated some understanding of the netspeak vignette, there was evidence of misinterpretation, presumption and misunderstanding suggesting that there may be some barrier to communication in internet therapy. The clinical implications of this research suggest that psychological therapists need to reflect on their practice in order to be aware of the level of assumption that can be made during therapy.
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