• An exploration of the experiences of working with the topics of sex and sexuality within counselling and psychotherapy training and practice.

      Gubi, Peter; Constantine, Anna (University of Chester, 2019-07)
      Narratives relating to sex and sexuality, expressed explicitly or implicitly, can surface within the therapeutic space. Practitioner training programmes, including the individuals who deliver training, can play a significant role in assisting therapists-in-training to develop competence and reflective self-awareness to enable them to work with these topics. This PhD thesis explores the experiences of, and adequacy of training for, working with the topics of sex and sexuality in counselling and psychotherapy. The aims of this research are to gain insight and understanding into: • The experiences of working with the topics of sex and sexuality from therapists’ and trainers’ perspectives. • The attention given to the topics within counselling and psychotherapy training programmes. • The adequacy of training in this sphere. A hermeneutic phenomenological methodology was employed to conduct the research, informed by the work of van Manen (1990). For Stage I of the study, nine therapists were recruited. The training approaches of the therapist participants included person-centred and integrative modalities. For Stage 2, nine experienced trainers who are currently teaching on a variety of counselling and psychotherapy training programmes, ranging from Diploma to Professional Doctorate were recruited. Individual audio-recorded, semistructured interviews were undertaken and subsequently transcribed. Data were analysed by a thematic approach. The analysis of data for Stage 1 yielded six overarching themes: 1. Sexual taboos. 2. Feeling unprepared. 3. Independent learning. 4. Looking inwards. 5. Beyond training. 6. Sexual diversity. Stage 2 yielded four overarching themes: 1. Personal and professional expressions. 2. Approaches to teaching. 3. Heteronormativity within training. 4. Challenges within training. This research found that the therapists and trainer participants experienced a dissonance in experience in relation to working with sex and sexuality within the training environment. However, there were also similar experiences between the two stages including an agreement of the importance of the topics of sex and sexuality within a therapeutic context. In terms of the efficacy of training in the areas of sex and sexuality, this research found the training to be inadequate. This was particularly clear within Stage 1 of the study and was also evident, to a lesser degree, within Stage 2. The findings reveal that the inadequacy of training may have manifested for a variety of reasons: e.g. the socially constructed taboos around sex and sexuality in the wider socio-cultural environment; an individual’s personal relationship with sex and sexuality and its potential to restrict engagement with the topics, both in training and practice alike. It is important that the counselling and psychotherapy professions take heed of these findings and are proactive in considering better ways to assist therapists-in-training, qualified therapists and psychotherapeutic educators to work with the topics of sex and sexuality in ways that are helpful to the client.
    • Cancer Experiences in People with Intellectual Disabilities

      Hulbert-Williams, Nick; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Bramwell, Ros; Flynn, Samantha (University of Chester, 2018-12-20)
      People with intellectual disabilities are increasingly being diagnosed with cancer due, in part, to increases in life expectancy for this population. Despite the growing number of people with cancer and intellectual disabilities, the cancer-related experiences of people with intellectual disabilities are under-researched. Person-centred approaches to research are needed to better understand the needs and psychosocial outcomes of people with cancer and intellectual disabilities. This thesis aims to better understand the cancer-related experiences of people with intellectual disabilities, and the impact on the people who support them. The thesis comprises four related studies: (1) a systematic review of psychosocial experiences of cancer in people with intellectual disabilities; (2) a qualitative study of cancer experiences in people with intellectual disabilities using thematic analysis informed by grounded theory; (3) a survey of UK oncology nurses’ attitudes and care perceptions towards people with intellectual disabilities; and (4) a feasibility study of an intervention to improve healthcare professionals’ perceptions of communicating with people with cancer and intellectual disabilities. Five themes emerged from the ten papers included in the systematic review: delayed diagnosis; information, communication, and understanding; negative psychological consequences; negative physical consequences; and social support. Six of the ten papers included data from the same ethnographic study of 13 people, highlighting a paucity of empirical research regarding the psychosocial cancer experiences of people with intellectual disabilities. The qualitative study indicated that people with intellectual disabilities were often excluded from conversations about their diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care, and expressed confusion and anxiety about their cancer. Attempts to protect them from distress inhibited communication, but where additional support was offered, participants engaged more meaningfully in their experience and this should, therefore, be encouraged. In the qualitative study, oncology nurses were reported to be important figures in the care of patients with intellectual disabilities. The survey of oncology nurses highlighted that caring for cancer patients with intellectual disabilities may intensify their already difficult role; however, previous experience may ameliorate negative consequences. This sample identified their need for training about communicating with people with intellectual disabilities. The first three studies informed the development of a novel, brief, online, video-based intervention for healthcare professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities and cancer. The feasibility trial of this intervention indicated that there were problems with recruitment, high attrition, and intervention adherence. These problems were, most likely due to participants finding the content and delivery method to be unacceptable. It is clear that the intervention is not feasible in its current format, and that further theoretical and modelling work is needed before the intervention is feasibility tested again ahead of a definitive trial. This body of work has demonstrated that people with intellectual disabilities and cancer face multiple barriers to accessing cancer care, including informative and understandable communication with healthcare professionals. With appropriate support, psychological and physical outcomes can be improved for people with intellectual disabilities and cancer, but caring for people with cancer and intellectual disabilities can be challenging for paid and informal carers, and oncology staff. Difficulties with communication are bi-directional, and improving communication might be an appropriate first step to improving cancer experiences for this population, but developing effective interventions presents numerous feasibility challenges.
    • Telling Our Stories: Towards an Understanding of Lived Methodism

      Graham, Elaine; Llewellyn, Dawn; Edwards, Graham M. (University of Chester, 2018-12-19)
      This thesis argues that a thorough understanding of Methodism must attend to the lived experience of Methodist people, expressed within Methodist church communities. I use narrative research methods to show the nature of local Methodist identity. This research was conducted using group interviews with participants from three Methodist churches in West Yorkshire. In analysis of these interviews, a ‘narrative of place’ is revealed: this is how participants talk about the experience of their church’s ‘space’ and make sense of their belonging. It communicates a shared sense of identity in each context. Through the narrative of place, I identify the shared experience of ‘lived Methodism’ that reflects my participants’ belonging within a Methodist church and within that tradition. In 1932, three independent Methodist church groups, each with their own practical and theological emphases, united to form The Methodist Church of Great Britain. The contemporary Methodist Church claims and cherishes its place as a ‘wide’ church, accepts a diversity of practice. Therefore, attempting to define Methodist identity can be problematic. This thesis argues that Methodist identity is not merely given to the church by the Methodist Connexion, or as a function of meeting in a Methodist building, instead it is appropriated and lived locally. A series of two group interviews in three Methodist communities generates the data recorded in the form of transcripts. Using a narrative research methodology to interrogate this data, I expose the narrative of place and its three core emphases, these show how lived Methodism is revealed in my work. Initially, place and community demonstrates how community is formed locally. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of habitus, I argue that the language of place and community functions in setting the boundaries of that particular group in both conscious and unconscious ways. The community thus governs its practice and ecclesial identity. Secondly, place and memory is outlined. In the three church narratives, memory is used to claim validity for the current expression of the community, and to articulate the values the community wishes to highlight. These two areas highlight how the local churches own and understand their identity, leading finally to an analysis of place and tradition. This demonstrates an understanding of what it means to be a Methodist church. There exists a local tradition focussed on 'being the church here and now’, which is fed by a received tradition mediated by those who are part of a broader Methodist narrative. The interface of these two modes of tradition creates a contextual Methodist tradition in each setting. I argue that it is here that a rich understanding of Methodism exists. Methodism is not a gift offered to a community, but a lived reality, claimed and valued by those who tell its story. The local narrative of place allows the lived experience of Methodism, in local church communities, to be heard and understood.
    • Children’s Decisions to Support Victims of Bullying: Friend and Peer Influences and the Effects of a Cross-Age Teaching of Social Issues Intervention

      Boulton, Michael J.; Lloyd, Julian; Rodway, Paul; Marx, Hedda (University of Chester, 2018-12-17)
      Bullying among school children is a social phenomenon that is now recognised as a widespread and serious problem across the globe. While decades of research have generated valuable insights as regards prevalence, main correlates and detrimental health consequences, many questions and gaps remain. For instance, it is unclear why the great majority of peer bystanders not intervene to support victims in a bullying conflict despite holding anti-bullying beliefs. Furthermore, great efforts have been made in the area of peer support and anti-bullying initiatives however there is still no intervention that has shown to be effective long term and cross-culturally. This thesis consists of two empirical studies. To advance knowledge of factors that influence pupils’ victim support behaviour, the first study examined the role of perceived friend and peer consequences in predicting intentions to three types of help: provide emotional support, help to stop the bully and get adult support. Structural equation modelling revealed that perceived friend consequences were significantly associated with each of the victim support behaviours studied. Additionally, perceived peer reactions predicted intentions to get adult help. These findings suggest that friends play a more important role than peers in affecting victim support. Some significant gender effects emerged, showing that the overall pattern of associations held for boys, but not for girls. The findings highlight the concerns children hold with regard to their (dis)approving views related to victim support. Outcomes further suggest that victim defending should not be regarded as a broad homogeneous construct. The second study assessed the effectiveness of a cross-age teaching of social issues intervention (CATS) on enhancing pupils’ knowledge on three victim support behaviours, and their awareness of the value of helping. In small cooperative groups older pupils were invited to step into the tutor role to prepare a lesson and teach it to two years younger tutees. An experimental-control group design was employed to test participants’ performance at three time points over a six to eight week period. CATS tutors significantly improved their knowledge and awareness of the provictim behaviours studied while no positive changes were evident for participants in the control group. Furthermore, children who participated in the project expressed high satisfaction with the intervention. Based on the positive findings it was concluded that CATS is a viable technique for enhancing pupils’ knowledge and awareness on prosocial topics. Helping children to see the value of supporting victims of bullying, in any of the ways studied, could help them avoid anticipating negative reactions from friends and peers, and in turn make it more likely that they would choose to help if the need arose.
    • A critical exploration of why some individuals with similar backgrounds do or do not become involved in deviant street groups and the potential implications for their future life choices.

      Corteen, Karen M.; Morley, Sharon; Boran, Anne; Garratt, Dean; Hesketh, Robert F. (University of Chester, 2018-08-30)
      This thesis will primarily address the issue of street gang involvement and non-involvement in gang prevalent areas of Merseyside. Specifically, it will address why some individuals with similar backgrounds do or do not become involved in deviant street groups and the potential implications for their future life choices. Reporting for the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) Cordis Bright Consulting (2015) have observed that when assessing young people bout whom there is concern because of violence and street gang involvement, practitioners should consider both risk and protective factors in five key domains: individual, peers, community, school and family. In determining the vulnerability and resilience of young people to gang membership on Merseyside, the study attempted to identify prominent variables within each of these domains and the research was undertaken with participants from a variety of marginalised locations of Merseyside. The study applied a hybrid approach consisting of Biographical Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM, Wengraf, 2001) as the means of data collection with Grounded Theory (GT) as the form of analysis (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). Two samples of participants were drawn from marginalised areas of Merseyside consisting of a total of 44 males age range 18-25 (one consisting of 26 gang involved participants (termed Deviant Street Group Members (DSGs)), and the second containing 11 non-gang participants (termed ‘Non-group Participants’ (NGPs) and 7 individuals identified as ex-gang participants (termed ‘ExDeviant Street Group participants’ (EDSGMs)). The findings draw attention to the considerable amount of social commentary and government policy that has intensified, pathologised and problemised the issue of gangs, gang membership and gang non-membership in the United Kingdom (UK). Moreover, they identify the effects of marginalisation and limited opportunity as the over-riding protagonists and highlight how young disenfranchised people, some more resilient than others cope with growing up in marginalised areas of Merseyside. In particular, contrary to the EIF’s observations that “family and peer group risk factors are not found to be strongly associated with gang membership as individual risk factors” (2015, p. 7), the study finds evidence that quality of parenting by fathers/father figures (family domain) and friendship networks (peer domain) together with the development of social capital can be key variables in the decision to become involved in or abstain from gang membership on Merseyside. Other factors identified, include the application of demonising government policies, the existence of edgework risk taking including criminal eroticism (individual domain) in young men and the impact of social migration (neighbourhood domain) on the decision to become involved, disengage or completely abstain from gangs was also noted to be significant.
    • Humanism and the Ideology of Work

      Rigby, Joe; Harrison, Katherine; Ogden, Cassie; Cox, Peter; Mercer, Samuel J R (University of Chester, 2018-08)
      This thesis argues that humanism, despite being subject to a sustained critique within the social sciences over the past fifty years or more, continues to limit the critical and explanatory power of the sociology of work, preventing a fuller understanding of the nature of work under contemporary capitalism. Developing Louis Althusser’s (1996) critique of humanism and ideology, humanism is shown to be an ideological problem for the sociology of work insofar as it brackets, obfuscates or mystifies key social relations of work and, by extension, the class struggles reflected in those relations. Humanism presents a persistent and pervasive problem for the sociology of work, as both an explanatory and critical framework. Because of the persistence of humanism in the sociology of work, the problems of contemporary work – and the proposed ‘solutions’ to these problems – are located not in an analysis of the social relations of these realities, but in ideological discourses of human alienation and human self-affirmation. The thesis explores the extent of this ideological problem across three contemporary debates within the sociology of work: ‘postcapitalist’ discourse (Srnicek & Williams, 2015) and the emergence of a contemporary post-work imaginary; feminist discourses on the ‘bioeconomy’ (Cooper & Waldby, 2014) and theories of social reproduction in the context of sex work, tissue donation and surrogacy; and the figuration of labour and work within contemporary social scientific discourses of the ‘Anthropocene’ (Bonneuil & Fressoz, 2016). In each of these areas, the thesis demonstrates how much of the sociology of work continues to rely on humanistic ideas to provide a normative theoretical foundation and a critical edge. If the sociology of work is to provide a genuinely critical orientation for understanding the changing world of work, this thesis argues, then the critique of humanism remains a central task.
    • Law students with Dyslexia and their experience of academic assessment

      Newton, Jethro; Davies, Chantel; Healey, Ruth L.; Morrow, John W. (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      The research explores the experience that students with Dyslexia, on law degrees, have of academic assessment, and the environmental factors that influence their experience and perceptions. The research is situated in one HEI (the Research Institution), which has a student population of 18,800, of which 634 had declared a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) (including Dyslexia) during the academic year 2014/15. Previous research has shown that students with Dyslexia are disadvantaged by traditional forms of academic assessment. Whilst little research has been carried out on Dyslexia and law degrees, the predominance of traditional approaches to assessment is commonly believed to disadvantage students with Dyslexia. This potential disadvantage is explored within the Research Institution (RI). In light of their obligation under the Equality Act 2010 to take reasonable steps to alleviate such disadvantages, specific consideration is given to the RI’s response to potential disadvantages faced by such students. In order to facilitate this objective a multiple-methods approach has been utilised for gathering data. Data has been collected through questionnaires, focus groups and interviews, with law students with and without Dyslexia, with lecturers inside and outside the law school, and with student support staff and other professionals. The range of data was then analysed, utilising an inductive approach. Five main themes emerged, and were explored using a social model of Dyslexia and from an emancipatory perspective. The themes are: 1) diagnosis and categorisation of Dyslexia; 2) the students’ experience of academic assessment; 3) the students’ experience of adjustments to academic assessment; 4) the impact of the law school environment on the experience of students with Dyslexia, and 5) the effect of the wider institutional environment and institutional policy and practice on the experiences and perceptions of how students with Dyslexia, and how they are responded to. The data collected pointed to the fact that students with Dyslexia struggled with traditional academic assessment, to a more significant degree than students without Dyslexia. While reasonable adjustments were provided by the institution to help students with Dyslexia overcome such difficulties, and whilst these were helpful to some extent, their overall effectiveness was shown to be limited. The main reasons for the student experiences that emerged from the research were related to the fact that, due to their Dyslexia, the forms of assessment used by their department presented a direct difficulty for students. Traditional forms of assessment utilised on law degrees are therefore considered to be a ‘disabling barrier’, as they inhibit students with Dyslexia from fully demonstrating their academic ability. The thesis then presents pointers to how law degree providers can respond to this issue. It is argued that this can be achieved by adjusting assessment methods in a way that removes, or at least reduces, the ‘disabling barriers’ faced by law students with Dyslexia. The research suggests that this is made possible by utilising a broader range of assessment methods beyond those traditionally utilised in law degrees. It also details how the individualistic nature of Dyslexia means that the most effective means of improving inclusivity for all students is to provide them with elements of choice as to the form of assessment adopted. The research concludes with proposals for alleviating the disadvantage experienced by law students with Dyslexia in respect of their experience of the academic assessment process and academic assessment outcomes. It is argued that to enhance the quality of their learning opportunities, and in order to be inclusive, academic assessment policy and practice should be informed by/premised upon a social interpretation of Dyslexia.
    • An inquiry into adult adoptees’ journeying with their sexuality

      Gubi, Peter M.; West, William; Sims, Michael C. (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      This multi-layered and multi-perspective inquiry focuses on adult adoptees’ sense-making of, and presentation of, their sexuality and self/identity. It is situated firmly within postmodern and social constructionist traditions, whereby both the personal/particular and social/shared dimensions of experiences are negotiated, disenfranchised/marginalised voices are privileged, and the distinctions between, research, art and therapy are disrupted. Due to the adoptees being placed in, and conceived as, marginalised group members, their local and marginalised voices are privileged within this thesis. The aims of this research were:  To gain access to, and gather, adult adoptee’s personal narratives/stories around the subject of their sexuality, their sexual identity and their adoption;  To give ‘voice’ to adult adoptees around the subject of sexuality and adoption;  To represent, and then present, these narratives/stories, honouring both the individual particulars of ‘lived experience’ and also to highlight any shared thematic qualities of the participants. A bricolage approach was used, using Kinchloe and Berry’s (2004) formalised theoretical concept of the ‘POET’ (the point of entry text). To capture the multiplicity of the research, and the POETs, a three-phase approach was applied. Phase one incorporated my auto-ethnographic account, of my lived experience of sexuality as an adoptee, through an analysis of my narratives and poems. Phase two explored the participants’ understanding, and presentation of, their sexuality from the analysis of their interview data. These data were analysed through a heuristic approach, developing individual depictions, a group depiction and then a final creative synthesis. In phase three, an interpretative phenomenological analysis, was applied to highlight thematic individual and shared themes of the participants’ data, to present a more structured and thematic representation. The data from phase one, two and three, highlighted the vulnerability, and cultural socio-political constructs, that can affect the self-formation and sexuality of an adoptee. The data from phase three established four superordinate themes: 1. Sexual attitudes, 2. Vulnerability, 3. The ‘Other’, and 4. The Feminine. The research demonstrates that adult adoptees, as vulnerable, are more open and susceptible to external influence regarding their sexuality and self-formation, and proposes an ‘inherent potential toward vulnerability’ within the adoptee. Therefore, there is a relationship between the adoptee, as inherently vulnerable, and how they constitute their sexuality and self-formation. Implications for practice require careful ethical consideration of the adoptees’ inherent vulnerability and how this impacts their sexuality and self-formation. These considerations for good practice/therapeutic intervention are underpinned by an awareness of potential ethical, political and social issues regarding the adoptee’s susceptible influence by the ‘other’. Therefore, an awareness of how ‘non-directive practice’ can be integrated ethically by the practitioner is emphasised. These implications are not always evident in counselling/psychotherapy training and supervision, and therefore need careful consideration by the practitioner at a personal level, and in relation to social policy, when working with adoptees.
    • A co-operative inquiry into counselling and psychotherapy trainers' inter- and intra-personal concerns and challenges in a higher education context

      Gubi, Peter M.; Carver, Elizabeth V. (University of Chester, 2017-03-26)
      Key Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine complex concerns and challenges encountered by counselling and psychotherapy trainers, and support them to deliver a consistent, relationship-centred learning approach within Higher Education (HE). Background: Counselling and psychotherapy training is central to regulating practice, however, studies conceptualising trainers’ concerns and challenges in the United Kingdom (UK) are sparse. Literature generally evaluates trainer challenges from a professional competence and/or gatekeeping perspective. Little evidence exists identifying problems connected with ‘professionalisation’. Aims and Objectives: The aim was to evaluate trainers’ multidimensional unease that can hinder working relationships. The intention was to: explore difficult patterns of behaviour and group dynamics in the ‘training alliance’; explore trainers’ perceptions and experiences when confronted with gatekeeping issues; collaboratively develop strategies to enhance trainers’ learning experience; examine the processes needed to sustain these strategies; and identify the lessons learnt to inform practice, education, and research. Approach and Methods: A qualitative, co-operative inquiry approach enabled trainers to question their situated and propositional knowledge, reconcile professional challenges, allay concerns about individual fitness to practice, and provide alternative responses to students, peers, and managerial hierarchies in HE and professional bodies. This approach has a political and social element, according with personal desire to make change. Thematic analysis uncovered new insights, expanded or modified principles and re-examine accepted interpretations during 8 inquiry sessions with 5 experienced trainers, and 3 associated workshops. A primarily iterative and inductive process of immersion, involved reflexive engagement, and sharing of data with trainer/practitioners. Findings: 6 overarching themes were identified: Trying to Make Sense of Significant Events; Negotiating Conflict and Incongruity in Training Groups; Navigating Inherent Challenges within Counsellor Training Teams; Teaching as a Never-Ending Challenge; Organisational Constraints and Challenges; and Contemplating Individual Connection in a Collaborative Context. Discussion and Conclusion: Findings supported previous research suggesting trainers require training, and that trainers’ concerns and challenges are interlinked; beginning with interpersonal challenges that subsequently impact on trainers’ professional and intra-personal sense of identity. Co-operative inquiry can benefit programme teams in terms of the co-construction of trainers’ realities and dynamic negotiation of meaning. Co-researchers’ knowledge and confidence in responding to potential conflict in training was enhanced. To achieve the best outcome, this knowledge needs implementing in practice; programme team involvement is a prerequisite, and support is required by professional bodies and HE to ensure ethical training practice in the face of student disgruntlement, management demands in HE and from professional accrediting bodies.
    • The Church of England’s Influence on the Divorce Reform Act 1969

      Kay, Roger; Bolton, Mike; Sinclair, Rosemary M. (University of Chester, 2017-02)
      This study traces the Church of England’s influence on the development of the Divorce Reform Act 1969 from 1964, with the setting up of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s group to examine divorce law, to the end of the 1970s, by which time the special procedure was used in all undefended divorces. The first chapter analyses the Archbishop’s Group itself, its formation, membership, deliberations and conclusions, contained in its report, Putting Asunder: A Divorce Law for Contemporary Society. The second chapter examines the negotiations which took place between the Group and the Law Commission, from which emerged a document known as The Consensus. The third chapter demonstrates how The Consensus evolved, first into a draft bill, and subsequently into the Divorce Reform Act 1969, as a result of its passage through Parliament. The final chapter examines the statutory interpretation of the Act by the courts to assess how much of the recommendations of the Putting Asunder remained ten years after the law was implemented. The methodology used is that of a legal historian and thereby the work differs in emphasis from studies done on this legislation by theologians, historians and sociologists. It focuses primarily on a detailed analysis of the change in the law during that period, as influenced by the Church of England. Thus, it closely examines the workings of law reform groups, negotiations and drafting of the Bill, the Bill’s passage through Parliament, and statutory interpretation of the Act in the courts. It builds on the work of others, particularly that of Professor Stephen Cretney, an eminent academic lawyer who analysed the part the Archbishop Group’s Report played in the process of divorce reform. This work develops this theme but appraises that role of the Church of England more comprehensively. It uses some of the historical and legal materials used by others, but also some material not previously used such as the Dunstan Papers, the papers of D. R. Dunstan, a member of the Archbishop’s groups and biographical materials of other members of the Group and their own writings. This gives a more detailed understanding of why the Church of England contributed in the way it did. The thesis concludes that whilst the Church of England appeared a powerful influence on the Divorce Reform Act 1969, its influence was constrained by its agreement with the Law Commission. It did contribute to the Divorce Reform Bill becoming an Act, but was not able to safeguard the conditions on which its support for the new concept of law, irretrievable breakdown of marriage, was based.
    • Sport coaching in a community setting: How do community youth sport coaches’ frame their role?

      Wheeler, Timothy J.; Lafferty, Moira E.; Ryrie, Angus (University of Chester, 2016-12)
      Community youth sport coaching is identified as a coaching domain tasked with delivering complex social outcomes. When coaching in this context, individuals can be expected to operate in multiple settings, as well as engage with, and support numerous participant types. To meet participant needs coaches are required to have a wide range of skills and competencies. Current research suggests how coaching roles emerge and competencies develop are not always clear. Therefore, to understand coach identity fully; there is a requirement to explore the meanings, values and importance placed upon coach roles. Past research illustrates that the manner in which coaches’ frame their role is instrumental to how they prioritise and organise critical moments of practice that warrant further reflection; thus allowing individuals to “construct the reality in which they function". This thesis intends to extend current knowledge on how sport coaches’ define, shape and “frame” their role in community youth sport settings. The research objectives are to: (a) examine the environmental conditions and personal views coaches’ hold with regard to community youth sport in the UK and, (b) evaluate elements that influence their role and individual approach towards coaching. In essence, (c) evaluate how community youth sport coaches’ shape and frame their role.
    • A qualitative exploration of therapists’ experiences as clients who prematurely terminated their therapy in England

      Gubi, Peter M.; Reeves, Andrew; Bonsmann, Christine F. (University of Chester, 2016-07-31)
      This qualitative study explored experiences of prematurely terminating adult individual therapy from the perspectives of therapists as clients in England. The aims of the study were to gain an overview of the experience of prematurely terminating therapy; to understand the experience of dissatisfaction when this is given as a reason for prematurely terminating therapy; and to inform and thus help improve practice. Rates of premature termination from counselling and psychotherapy remain high despite a considerable body of research into possible predictors of this phenomenon. Few studies have explored clients’ experiences of premature termination in depth. Clients often report dissatisfaction as a reason for premature termination, and this experience is under-researched. From practitioners’ perspectives, little is known about indicators of dissatisfaction, and how to manage premature termination if it occurs. The study was conducted in two stages. The purposeful sample were therapists who, as clients, prematurely terminated personal therapy after attending at least two sessions. Participants self-selected as having prematurely terminated therapy. Stage one used an online qualitative survey to gain an overview of participants’ experiences of premature termination, and the 40 usable responses were analysed inductively using thematic analysis. The survey was used to recruit participants for stage two. In stage two, six semi-structured interviews were carried out with participants who had prematurely terminated therapy for reasons of dissatisfaction. The data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Overall, the major themes created were: feeling dissatisfied; client becomes unable to continue therapy; and communication about the premature termination. The findings confirm the importance of the working alliance in therapy, and illuminate how the alliance failed to develop in experiences of dissatisfaction. It is argued that understanding clients’ experiences could enable practitioners to recognise the presence of dissatisfaction, and adapt therapy, if appropriate, to minimise avoidable premature termination. The need for therapy to ‘add value’ was also identified. The findings indicate a failure by some therapists to act in a relational way when clients prematurely terminated therapy, thereby disrupting the dominant discourse about the importance of the therapeutic relationship. Clients’ needs at the point of premature termination were identified. The findings of this study are not generalisable but may be transferable. The study concludes that therapists’ management of how therapy ends is just as important as the management of how it begins, regardless of how it ends. This has implications for practice and training. Areas for further research are identified.
    • What Can Politics Academic Practice Learn from the Experience Politics Students Have of Expressing Their Political Views?

      D'Artrey, Meriel P. (University of Chester, 2015-11)
      The aim of the research is to identify implications for the practice of Politics academics from the experience their students have of expressing their political views. This exploratory study is set within the wider debate of power and performativity in the HE classroom. It is situated in a study of practice and perceptions in one Department at the University of Chester and conducted through a review of the literature and empirical qualitative research with both Politics students and Politics academics. The research found that while Politics students wish to express their political views, these may not be their actual political views. Politics students indicate that the Politics academic can affect their expression of political views. They prefer academics who express their own political views and they do not like politically neutral academics. They may wish to know an academic’s political views in order to gain advantage for themselves. Knowing an academic’s political views enables the student to avoid expressing political views which some Politics academics find offensive. The research highlights the part played by power and performativity in the expressing of the Politics student’s political views and identifies some of the complexities arising from this. The practice outcomes provide guidance on how Politics academics can approach the issue of the Politics student’s expression of political views. This single case study’s value lies in these contributions to wider practice. Research is identified which will explore the findings further.
    • An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the lived experience of traumatic bereavement on therapists’ personal and professional identity and practice

      Gubi, Peter; Mintz, Rita; Broadbent, Jeanne R. (University of Chester, 2015-10)
      The self of the therapist is widely recognised as being a crucial component in the therapeutic relationship. However, comparatively little is known about the therapist as a person, or of how life-changing events in therapists’ personal lives may impact on their professional identity and practice. The aim of this phenomenological study was to explore the impact of traumatic bereavement on the personal and professional lives of qualified humanistic therapists in order to shed further light on this under-researched area. Underpinned by a phenomenological-hermeneutic philosophy, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was selected as the methodology most appropriate to reveal participants’ lived experience. Purposive sampling was used to recruit a homogenous sample of eight humanistic therapists who had experienced traumatic bereavement while practising. Data comprised interview transcripts, participants’ reflective writing and researcher field notes. IPA’s idiographic approach facilitated the creation of a detailed and nuanced thematic analysis of the phenomenon, grounded in participants’ voices. Five super-ordinate themes were created from the interpretative phenomenological analysis, each of which provides a complementary ‘lens’ through which to view participants’ holistic experience: ‘Significance of context’, ‘Confronting a changed reality’, ‘Re-learning the world’, ‘Facing professional challenges’ and ‘Personal and professional reciprocity’. Findings reveal the unique contextual and multi-faceted nature of traumatic bereavement, and suggest that this experience can profoundly impact on therapists’ personal and social identities and beliefs. The professional challenges faced by grieving therapists are also highlighted. Findings illustrate that through a reciprocal process of personal and professional integration, the experience of facing, and living through grief, can lead to therapists’ increased self-knowledge, understanding, empathy and authenticity that informs and enhances their therapeutic practice. Supportive supervision and continued self-reflection are evidenced as significant mediating factors. The research demonstrates that the process of integrating the experience of traumatic bereavement into the therapist’s personal and professional life is a continuing and oscillating process. It is crucial that therapists carrying this burden have opportunities to reflect on this process in supportive supervisory relationships in order to pre-empt and ameliorate difficulties they may face in client work. A greater understanding of therapist bereavement is needed across the profession.
    • Client Perspectives and Experiences of Congruence

      Savic-Jabrow, Pamela (University of Chester, 2015-04)
      This small scale enquiry looks at the value of Rogers’ concept of congruence from the perspectives and experiences of clients rather than those of the counsellor, as, it is the view of the author that the value of congruence is only established if it is perceived so by clients. It contributes to the debate about Rogers’ definition of congruence and offers a research informed perspective, relevant to a range of therapeutic interventions, of the nature and function of congruence in the counsellor-client relationship. The study involved me as the researcher and six participants from two cultural backgrounds who had responded to a leaflet after having experienced therapy with a qualified counsellor other than me. A pilot study was carried out followed by six semi-structured, face-to-face and telephone interviews that were transcribed and analysed using a qualitative, thematic analysis approach. A decision was made to divide participants into those who had experienced person-centred counselling and those who had experienced CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or integrative therapy. This was not an original decision but one that was made during the study in order to compare the presence and the importance of congruence in different models of therapy. Results revealed that there were terms that were central to, related to and unrelated to Rogers’ definition of congruence. Factors that were centrally related to congruence were: connection and demeanour. Therapist facilitative factors that were tangentially related to congruence were: respect; understanding; empathy; self-disclosure; trust; body language; conveying emotion and caring. Participants also referred to non-related facets such as therapist competence. Due to the majority of codes being related to congruence, this led to the conclusion that participants held a wide definition of the concept, implied by proxy (as a substitute). Participants confirmed the value of congruence, suggesting that Rogers’ theory, that is, that therapist congruence is necessary for positive growth to occur in clients, is important in counselling (Rogers, 1957). Congruence therefore cannot be described as an outdated theory or professional ideology but as a key concept that is prized and valued in modern day therapy. This study offers an original contribution to knowledge and professional practice because it provides not professionals but clients with the opportunity to have their voices heard. It allows service-users to put into words their experiences, thereby offering a better understanding of the phenomenon of congruence. The study has therefore allowed the provision for a more empowering, research-informed counsellor-client experience. A second claim to the study being unique and a valid contribution to knowledge is that the research has a particular focus on Rogers’ definition of congruence and enquires if this is relevant for service-users as opposed to service-providers.
    • The Unmet Psychosocial Needs of Haematological Cancer Patients and their Impact upon Psychological Wellbeing

      Swash, Brooke (University of Chester, 2015-01)
      Unmet psychosocial needs indicate a desire for additional support in cancer patients, having a direct clinical utility in directing the provision of supportive care. There is evidence in wider cancer groups that unmet needs relate to psychological wellbeing but this relationship has yet to be fully explored and factors that may explain or moderate this relationship yet to be examined. There has been little investigation of type or prevalence of unmet need in haematological cancer patients, however, haematological cancers are noteworthy for their high levels of associated distress. Understanding causality of distress is key to the effective implementation of supportive care services. This thesis aimed to highlight the unmet needs most relevant to haematological cancer patients and to explore their impact upon psychological wellbeing. This thesis comprises four interconnected research studies: a systematic review exploring existing knowledge of unmet needs; a qualitative exploration of patient experiences of unmet needs and their impact; a quantitative questionnaire study of unmet need and psychological wellbeing in newly diagnosed haematological cancer patients, placing a special emphasis on the difference between active treatment and watch and wait regimes; and, a second quantitative questionnaire study that explores unmet need, psychological wellbeing, and psychological flexibility as a potential moderator in their relationship in a sample of haematological cancer survivors. This thesis demonstrates a relationship between unmet need and psychological wellbeing in haematological cancer patients. Fear of recurrence, concerns about loved ones, being able to do the things you used to, and a need for information were all found to be of relevance. The qualitative study highlighted that patients feel that, as haematology patients, they are distinct from other cancer patients which impacts upon the perceived acceptability of support services and specific barriers to the accessing of support services are presented. Significant correlations between unmet need and key psychological outcomes such as anxiety, depression and quality of life were observed in both quantitative studies. In addition, the concept of psychological flexibility was found to moderate the relationship between unmet need and psychological wellbeing in haematological cancer survivors. This work has clear implications for both future research and clinical practice. Unmet needs assessment has the potential to be used as a screening tool for overall psychological wellbeing, a way to stratify and understand the specific causes of distress and poor quality of life for this patient group. In the UK, on-going support for cancer patients diminishes at the end of treatment, these findings suggest that further support is needed in order to meet the psychological needs of cancer survivors. Further research is needed to further explore the role of psychological flexibility in cancer-related distress: interventions that target psychological flexibility have the potential to improve both unmet need and distress.
    • Choices for childbirth: The role of psychological and social factors in the nature and extent of women's decisions for labour and delivery and their influence on post-natal outcomes

      Hayes, Liane (University of Liverpool, 2014-01)
      Research into birth plans has considered women’s experiences of their usefulness as an aid to communicating preferences for childbirth. It has also evaluated implications for post-natal well-being based on the realisation of expressed preferences in labour and delivery. The current study aimed to identify the psychosocial profile of birth planners and to explore the outcomes for these women as compared with non-planners post-natally. It also compared the psychological constructs measured in the sample with a non-pregnant population to see differences between pregnant, post-natal and non-pregnant women on these dimensions. A sample of 140 women who had not been pregnant in the past year completed a questionnaire measuring: Age, occupational group; ethnic group; general health status, health knowledge, attitudes towards doctors and medicines; locus of control; coping style; perceived social support; and beliefs about pain control. A questionnaire was also given to 120 women in four antenatal clinics across a primary care trust in the North West of England. This questionnaire produced data on all of the variables in the comparison questionnaire, plus: Parity; antenatal education; birth plan use; medical conditions; information seeking; and childbirth self-efficacy. Women also described in text their preferences for birth. At least four weeks after delivery these women completed a further questionnaire consisting of the seven measures used in both the previous two questionnaires, plus: experience of birth; usefulness of birth plan; and post-natal depression. They also described in text their experience of birth. Results showed that birth planners were younger and had lower levels of internal health control than non-birth planners. Birth planners tended to use problem focussed coping styles, perceived less support from their significant other and perceived doctors as more powerful in pain control than non-birth planners. More positive psychological post-natal outcomes were experienced by women who valued their birth plans if they had one but overall birth planners experienced more negative psychological post-natal outcomes than non-birth planners. The non-pregnant sample was comparable in demographic terms to the pregnant sample but differed in most subscales across all measures to the pregnant sample pre-natally and to a lesser extent post-natally. The factors implicated in birth planning and psychological post-natal outcomes are discussed both in terms of the literature and possible implications for the training and practice of midwives.
    • Dyslexia and time: A comparison of speed and accuracy of young dyslexics and non-dyslexics on time recognition and time management by adult dyslexics

      Wheeler, Timothy J.; Reynolds, David; Ellis, Antony R. (University of Chester, 2013-08)
      This research describes two invesitgations into temporal processing by dyslexics. Firstly, the accuracy and speed of response that dyslexic children and matched controls demonstrate on three types of time comparison task was explored. The participants were 96 boys and 24 girls, divided into three age bands: 7:0 - 7:11; 11:0 - 11:11 and 14:0 - 14:11 years of age of whom 60 were dyslexic and 60 non-dyslexic. Dyslexics in all age bads took longer and made fewer correct responses than non-dyslexics in time telling. Younger dyslexics were differentially disadvantaged when compared to older dyslexics in speed and correctness. Both groups showed improved accuracy and speed with age. The dyslexic cohort aged 14 years improved in accuracy from age 11, though with only marginal improvement in reaction time speed. Complex time perception proved most difficult for both groups. Reason for these differences are discussed with reference to limited sort-term memory problems affecting performance especially for dyslexics. The research substantiates particular theories of dyslexia and a new model helps to explain the process. Practical implications are suggested for parents, teachers and examiners concerned with dyslexic children. Secondly, the time management skills of dyslexic and non-dyslexic adults were examined for 43 dyslexic and 41 non-dyslexic particpants who answered an online questionnaire about their time management skills. The adult questionnaires revealed that dyslexics find time management, estimation, planning and sticking to a schedule particualrly difficult, resulting in task delay or incompletion, and heightened levels of stress as time pressures increase. Questions revealed lack of confidence in time management techniques amongst dyslexics. Many dyslexics had found these difficulties placed severe contraints on career choices, areas of employment and lifestyle. Possible reasons for these diffierenecs are discussed with an accompanying model that stresses the contraints caused by poor working memory.
    • Great expectations: A qualitative examination of restorative justice practices and victim interaction

      Dutton, Kathryn; Armstrong, Jac R. B. (University of Chester, 2012-10)
      This thesis presents original empirical research concerning a restorative justice practice currently operating within England. Specifically, it examines the expectations and experiences of victims participating in a restorative practice. It establishes the extent to which victims‘ expectations may impact upon their experiences of the restorative justice process. Throughout this research, original empirical data is presented which demonstrates that victims possess a limited understanding of restorative principles and practices, which persists despite preparatory meetings. This research suggests victims place almost exclusive reliance upon gatekeepers of the process, specifically the police or restorative facilitator, in both the formation of their expectations of the process and in their decisions to participate. This thesis argues that the existence of restorative practices as complex interactionary processes enables victims to experience aspects of the process negatively, whilst continuing to view the process as beneficial. It is submitted that negative experiences can arise from an expectation-reality gap, which the preparatory meetings fail to rectify. Throughout the restorative process, this research demonstrates that victims continue to possess a punitive perspective and continue to rely upon aspects of the traditional criminal justice system and courtroom imagery. Such reliance exists in contradiction to central themes of restorative justice theory, including victim rejection of an empowered decision making role during the process, and the irrelevance of offender remorse.
    • Rural livelihoods and inequality under trade liberalisation: A case study of southern Vietnam

      Degg, Martin; Boran, Anne; Zhang, Heather; Evans, Martin; Besemer, Kirsten L. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2012-03)
      The purpose of this mixed-methods case study research is to discover how, in relation to trade liberalisation in Vietnam's Mekong Delta, intangible assets affect livelihood outcomes of the ethnic majority Kinh and the ethnic minority Khmer people. Methods used include a random survey of 150 ethnic majority (Kinh) rice farmers combined with focus group data from Khmer ethnic minority people. Data shows that lack of access to information about the changing economic circumstances generated by trade reform has caused farmers to take sub-optimal decisions about the diversification of their crops. The economic outcomes on Khmer farmers have also been negatively affected by a lack of information, compounded by rigid gender roles, lack of education, discrimination, language problems and isolation from the majority ethnic group. These factors have contributed considerably to the negative outcomes of liberalisation, including loss of land, and have impeded people's ability to make use of emerging opportunities, including better access to markets and new ways of making a livelihood. This research shows that intangible assets interact with trade liberalisation to exacerbate existing inequalities.