The bereaved therapist speaks: An exploration of humanistic therapists' experiences of significant personal bereavement and its impact on their therapeutic practice. A qualitative study using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
AuthorsBroadbent, Jeanne R.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe death of a loved one is an event that can shatter the carefully constructed edifice of one's everyday life and which can cause us to question out basic assumptions about ourselves and the world we inhabit. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experienes of four humanistic therapists who had suffered a significant bereavement, and how this had affected their therapeutic practice. I chose a qualitative approach to the research underpinned by the epistemological and philosophical paradigms of phenomenology. The method chosen for analysing the data was Interpretative Phenomenoliogical Analysis (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009). Data was collected by using semi-structured interviews which were subsequently transcribed and analysed using an inductive, iterative approach that starts with the particular and builds up themse. Four master themes emerged from the data analysis comprising eight sub-themes. The findings suggest that bereavement is a unique experience that can be influenced by a variety of factors, and which can challenge one's sense of self and social identity. It can also result in personal growth and renewal as the bereaved relearn the world and reconstruct their identity. A major finding was the theme relating to the interface between the personal and professional and how continued professional development, including supervision, informed the participants' practice. Finally, the findings suggest that through the process of working through their own grief, the particpants' personal experience results in enhanced empathic understanding and connectedness in their therapuetuc relationships. The findings are generally consistent with other research in this area, although there are also significant differences. Further research in this area could involve a longtudinal study on the relationship between the changing impact on practice and the evolving process of grieving.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
The following license files are associated with this item: