Exploring the language of adolescent emotion and its relationship with psychological wellbeing and therapeutic experience
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AuthorsTessa Apter, Nora.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe study of emotional language use and production within UK adolescent therapeutic populations has received relatively little attention compared to other client-, process- and outcome factor research. In recent years, novel and distinct methods of delivering therapy that rely on the production and interpretation of language are increasing in popularity, compared to traditional therapeutic models that use non-verbal aspects of communication in the therapeutic process. In order to explore how aspects of emotional language production may inform clinicians about therapeutic interventions with a UK adolescent population, two studies were designed to analyse how adolescents use written emotional language to indicate their psychological wellbeing, identity and agency development through receipt of psychological intervention. A quantitative study was designed to measure therapeutic and non-therapeutic adolescents’ production of positive and negative emotional word frequency through free-response narratives. Positive and negative emotional word frequencies were assessed for relationships with measures of trait emotional intelligence (TEIQue-ASF; Petrides et al., 2006) and psychological wellbeing (18-item PWBS; Clarke et al., 2001). Multiple regression analyses determined that trait emotional intelligence significantly predicted psychological wellbeing, but positive and negative emotional word production and therapeutic experience did not. A qualitative study using Parker’s (2005) methods of narrative analysis of limited narratives focused on exploring how adolescents who have experienced therapy construct narratives. The analysis illustrated the construction of agency in developing adolescent identities and accounts of helpful and unhelpful events in therapeutic interventions, which became the primary narrative genres. Emotional contexts were highlighted in exploring the functions of emotional language in constructing stories of adolescent agency and identity in therapy. The results of both studies, their contributions to, and implications for clinical practice and counselling psychology are discussed in relation to novel or modern methods of delivering therapeutic interventions tailored to this developmental population, and in the wider socio-political context.
DescriptionA doctoral portfolio submitted to the University of Wolverhampton for the purpose of Practitioner Doctorate: Counselling Psychology.