The lived experiences of counselling psychologists working with black, asian and minority ethnic survivors of domestic violence and abuse: An interpretative phenomenological analysis study
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AbstractRationale: Research has shown that therapists face difficulties when providing therapy to BAME survivors of DVA. Due to the complexities of this client group, it appears that specialist skills are required for therapists to utilise in therapy. Previous research has highlighted these challenges concerned with the therapists’ personal and professional issues. However, there has been relatively minimal research on exploring Counselling Psychologists’ experiences of working with BAME survivors of DVA. It is apparent that it would be useful to explore how Counselling Psychologists feel and the impact it may have on their personal and professional lives. Method: A qualitative approach was adopted to explore the Counselling Psychologists’ lived experiences of working with BAME survivors of DVA. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with five Counselling Psychologists who had worked with BAME survivors of DVA. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was utilised to analyse the data. Findings: There were five major themes that emerged from the interviews. These were: (i) understanding the needs of a Counselling Psychologist, (ii) the complexity of working with BAME survivors of DVA, (iii) the psychological impact on a Counselling Psychologist, (iv) the need for containment as a Counselling Psychologist and (v) the identity of a Counselling Psychologist. Conclusion: These themes highlighted the personal and professional impact this has on Counselling Psychologists and the multifaceted challenges that occur when working with BAME survivors of DVA. The different aspects of culture, core beliefs, pressures of family and wider community and identity can intertwine and impact the Counselling Psychologist and ultimately the therapeutic alliance. The psychological impact on the participants appeared to be prominent through experiencing vicarious trauma, fear for clients’ safety and frustration. Participants reported how difficult it was for them to manage and understand the clients’ perspectives, therefore suggestions were made for further specialist cultural training, clinical and peer supervision, alongside self-care.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA research portfolio submitted to the University of Wolverhampton for the Professional Doctorate: Counselling Psychology Award: D.Couns.Psych.
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- Creative Commons
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