• Adult reflections on being an ‘only-child’

      Gubi, Peter M.; Fletcher, Caroline (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      This qualitative research project explores the significance that individual counsellors attach to being an ‘only-child’ in terms of their development in childhood, their adult lives and their work as counsellors. The academic literature tends to deal with the advantages and disadvantages of growing up without siblings. Yet, for this researcher, these studies seem to diminish the unique lived experience of individuals and almost to perpetuate stereotypes – even when they seek to challenge existing negative stereotypes by positing new, more favourable stereotypes. Four experienced counsellors were interviewed about the impact that being an onlychild has had – and continues to have – on their lives and were invited to reflect on their own reactions to the stereotypes. My research indicates that the stereotypes bear little relation to the lived-experience of the participants. It also concludes that the process of becoming a counsellor has helped the participants to understand the part that being an only-child has played in the complex picture of their overall development. For all participants, this awareness seems to be an important aspect of their work as counsellors.