The Faculty offers an extensive portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, taught predominantly at the Chester Campus, but with provision in Public Relations and Policing taught at Warrington. A key feature of work in all four specialist subject areas below is the inter-relationship between social science and issues of everyday concern that have relevance for policy making.

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  • Research Evaluating Staff Training Online for Resilience (RESTORE): Protocol for a single-arm feasibility study of an online acceptance and commitment therapy intervention to improve staff wellbeing in palliative care settings

    Finucane, Anne; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Swash, Brooke; Spiller, Juliet A.; Lydon, Brigid; Gillanders, David; University of Edinburgh; Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh; University of Chester (AMRC Open Research, 2021-11-18)
    Background Palliative care workers commonly experience workplace stress and distress. General stressors include unmanageable workloads and staff shortages. Stressors specific to palliative care include regular exposure to death, loss and grief. The COVID pandemic exacerbated exhaustion and burnout across the healthcare system, including for those providing palliative care. Evidence based psychological support interventions, tailored to the needs and context of palliative care workers, are needed. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an established form of cognitive behavioural therapy which uses behavioural psychology, values, acceptance, and mindfulness techniques to improve mental health and wellbeing. ACT is effective in improving workplace wellbeing in many occupational settings. Our study examines the acceptability and feasibility of an online ACT-based intervention to improve mental health and wellbeing in staff caring for people with an advanced progressive illness. Methods A single-arm feasibility trial. We will seek to recruit 30 participants to take part in an 8- week online ACT-based intervention, consisting of three synchronous facilitated group sessions and five asynchronous self-directed learning modules. We will use convergent mixed methods to evaluate the feasibility of the intervention. Quantitative feasibility outcomes will include participant recruitment and retention rates, alongside completion rates of measures assessing stress, quality of life, wellbeing, and psychological flexibility. Focus groups and interviews will explore participant perspectives on the intervention. We will run a stakeholder workshop to further refine the intervention and identify outcomes for use in a future evaluation. We will describe participant perspectives on intervention acceptability, format, content, and perceived impact alongside rates of intervention recruitment, retention, and outcome measure completion. Conclusion We will show whether a brief, online ACT intervention is acceptable to, and feasible for palliative care workers. Findings will be used to further refine the intervention and provide essential information on outcome assessment prior to a full-scale evaluation.
  • Advancing rural as ‘something more than a human estate’: Exploring UK sheep-shaping

    Williams, Fiona; Halfacree, Keith; Swansea University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2021-10-01)
    Periodically, the topic of defining rural is addressed within rural social science scholarship but done so in overwhelmingly human terms. This paper engages with this observation, arguing the simple but axiomatic point that the rural is not solely a human taxonomic creation but expresses a space that integrally and intimately involves the more-than-human. Consequently, the latter should be strongly, firmly and richly represented up-front within the defining rural debate. Adopting an established if, to date, still anthropocentricised three-fold model of rural space, the paper argues that each dimension – localities, representations, lives – feature the more-than-human in both passive and active ways. Overall, bringing more-than-human perspectives much further to the fore consolidates the idea of rural as inherently co-produced, a ‘baroque assemblage’ containing many more-than-human living things. Accounts of animals within such a rural must recognise their emplacing from a diversity of foci, interests and consequences. The paper begins to introduce details of this diverse co-production with respect to one ubiquitous rural animal, the sheep. It illustrates the ‘ensheeping’ of rural localities, representations and lives, with the practical significance of this brought together and drawn out through two rival accounts of sheep within the Lake District National Park. Finally, the seemingly modest call for rural studies to embrace animals more fully is argued to be enhanced today by ongoing and potentially imminent experiences impacting strongly on rural places.
  • Moving to remote working: a guide for traditional lab-based experiments

    Vaughan, Sarah; Holt, Glenys; Scudds, Annie; Wilkinson, Heather; Lasikiewicz, Nicola; University of Chester
    The aim of our study was to test whether we could move a traditional laboratory-based experiment online without reducing the reliability and validity of the results. To this end, we recorded participants facial expressions using an emotional rating task in which participants rated the unpleasantness of emotional stimuli, as well as the strength of their emotional reaction. We adopted a 2 (group: online versus face-to-face) *2 (conditions: attend and reappraisal) design. Here, we presented a recount of our reflections and decisions made during the process of designing this study to provide readers with 1. the opportunity to reflect on the participant experience in navigating the traditionally laboratory-based paradigm online and without assistance, 2. a discussion of the experience of conducting traditionally laboratory-based experimental research in an online environment and 3. a consideration of the future of experimental psychological methods in the context of increased need for online-based research. We would recommend considering the wider contextual, the unknown or known extraneous variables when developing a design.
  • A systematic review of quantitative studies capturing measures of psychological and mental health for Gay and Lesbian individuals of faith

    Wilkinson, Dean; Johnson, Amy; University of Chester; University of Worcester
    The association between religion or spirituality and psychological concepts (e.g., subjective well-being), have received frequent support, however, recent evidence has noted that cultural factors may affect this relationship. The consideration of these concepts for sexual orientation minorities has been neglected in previous years and now a body of evidence is beginning to develop around concerns for this population, with some speculation for the changes of ‘stressors’ for future generations and the implication on mental health outcomes. Lesbian and Gay individuals of faith (or spirituality), are susceptible to unique ‘stressors’, whilst others suggest religion can provide a support network providing protective health benefits. This review explores the evidence for psychological measures associated with LGB people of faith. The evidence suggests following a religion or faith can provide good social support, reducing health risks, however, can have negative implications for mental and physical health such as, internalised homophobia, anxiety and rejection.
  • Ethically sensitive research with ‘children’ and ‘adults’ in custody

    Price, Jayne; University of Chester
    This chapter draws on data from young men interviewed on two occasions; first as ‘children’ aged 17 years within juvenile Young Offenders’ Institutions (YOIs); and then again as ‘adults’ aged 18 years within young adult/adult prisons about their experiences of transitions. Ethical reviews typically reflect age-determined constructions of child/adult status and those aged under 18 years are deemed to be more ‘vulnerable’, thus attracting more scrutiny from research ethics committees (Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC] 2020). This concern heightens the methodological difficulties of prison research, as incarceration renders children ‘doubly vulnerable’ (Jacobson and Talbot 2017). Such institutions may be obstructive and access must be obtained from a series of gatekeepers. Negotiating the balance between participants’ rights and their best interests (Heptinstall 2000, Thomas and O’Kane 1998), along with gatekeepers’ priorities can be challenging. This chapter outlines how tricky ethical tensions were balanced with participants’ best interests in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (UN 1989). Despite the difficulties encountered, the researcher (JP) took the view that there would be ‘ethical implication[s] of NOT conducting the research’ (Girling 2017, p. 38). The chapter offers recommendations for how researchers might conduct ethically sensitive research with similar cohorts of young people.
  • Theorising Cycling

    Cox, Peter; University of Chester
    Any academic study uses underlying assumptions about the object of study, appropriate methods and analytical tools. This chapter explores some of the key questions and approaches that have arisen in cycling studies over the last two decades, ranging from realist to constructivist analysis. It offers a brief introduction to some of the most important strands of social theory applied to cycling studies. In particular, the chapter traces the politics of knowledge as it applies to cycling studies and the implications of contrasting perspectives as they relate to practical application.
  • Introduction: Cycling and Society

    Cox, Peter; University of Chester
    Section introduction overview of themes and discusisions
  • Stress and sex: a complicated relationship’ Declining sexual functioning as a predictor for attritional stress and fatigue (ASF), resilience injury and maladaptive behaviours in a sample of British Army soldiers

    Reeves, Andrew; Buxton, Christina; Prentice, Julie-Anne (University of Chester, 2021-10)
    With high-tempo work, frequent separation and operational commitments, military personnel are at greater risk than most of developing a broad range of mental health concerns. Whether at war or in peacetime, soldiers are trained to be ready for combat. Such conditioning is responsible for teaching soldiers how to override their flight or fight response; to run towards danger when human instinct seeks to run away. So, whether soldiers are engaged in combat or training for readiness, the destabilising impact of overriding innate biological functions can impact on how a soldier recognises and manages stress. Stress is known to contribute to a number of physical and psychological functions that impact on sexual desire and performance, offering sexual functioning as a potential marker for resilience injury and wider mental health concerns. Aims & Objectives Psychological support for intimate relationships is particularly vital for soldiers and their partners and may influence recovery rates from the unique mental demands of the military. This study sought to understand if declining sexual functioning could be an early predictor of problematic stress and maladaptive behaviours. It aimed to define clear at-risk groups for increased stress to help clinicians target assessment for those most susceptible to resilience overwhelm and mental health concerns. Research questions The study focused on 6 main research questions related to stress, sexual functioning, online sexual activity (OSA) and compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB). Results hoped to demonstrate the correlation between stress and sexual function and to define areas of additive stress that may impact on wellbeing. Clinical aims sought to highlight at-risk groups and protective factors to support psychoeducation, assessment protocols and treatment pathways. Method A mixed-methods approach allowed for the collection of quantitative statistical data via a scored and validated survey providing correlation information on the four main variables: stress, sexual functioning, online sexual activity and compulsive sexual behaviours. A qualitative component collected personal statements, observations and remarks to provide context for the statistical results. With equal priority, this created a snapshot of soldier experience in relation to stress and sex which could help the identification of those soldiers at greater risk of psychological distress. The study was primarily underpinned by the theoretical framework of Bancroft and Janssen’s Dual Control Model. This model centres on the balance between an individual’s inhibitory and excitatory processes in the central nervous system. With particular relevance to this study and soldier behaviour, the Dual Control Model considers how excitation and inhibition are impacted by stress and how individual response may impact on sexual behaviour. Where inhibition is elevated, some may experience difficulties with sexual interaction related to performance anxiety for example and where excitation is increased, individuals may feel less restricted and may be willing to take more sexual risks. Results Results demonstrated a clear link between increased stress and declining sexual function offering psychosexual assessment as a useful diagnostic tool for psychological distress. Through statistical analysis, 7 groups were identified as most at risk of resilience overwhelm and poor stress appraisal with declining sexual functioning. These groups included soldiers who lived alone, those who lived overseas with their partners, Other Ranks aged 26-30 years old, Non-Commissioned Officers aged 26-30 years old, Commissioned Officers aged over 40 years, soldiers that had served between 1-5 years and those personnel who had served over 20 years. Soldiers in more than one of these 7 groups were likely to experience the highest levels of stress and declining sexual functioning, with up to 83% of sexual function variance attributed to stress. Within this study, predictive factors were categorised from personal narratives. At-risk soldiers were identified as either being exposed to greater disconnection or isolation, currently experiencing a life stage transition or within a period of increased occupational demand. Soldiers currently at relationship pressure points such as starting or ending an intimate relationship did not demonstrate a significance correlation between elevated stress and declining sexual function. Over 85% of soldiers admit to using the internet for sexual activity; however, the majority were at levels that were considered to be low risk. Personnel reported preferring to seek out human connection. Increased OSA was not correlated with loss of desire but it was strongly associated with a decline in sexual satisfaction. Compulsive sexual behaviour was not generally problematic. Results demonstrated that soldiers in this study were more likely to have increased sexual inhibition resulting in sexual difficulties rather than elevated excitation leading to risk taking behaviour. There were marked differences between male and female soldiers including the experience of stress, sexual function and online sexual activity, suggesting that psychoeducation and healthcare assessment should be appropriately targeted with the consideration of sex-specific interventions. More research on the psychological and physiological differences between male and female soldiers is urged. Implications for practice Whilst poor sexual functioning can be influenced by many factors, this study has concluded that sexual difficulties are positively correlated with increased stress within the British Army. Therefore, questions on sexual functioning could offer an important measure of physical, cognitive and emotional health. Psychosexual training would enable those clinicians that support at-risk soldiers presenting with stress symptoms to explore sexual functioning and behaviour as part of their patient wellbeing assessment. Soldiers could benefit from greater awareness of how personal agency and control can diminish the harmful effects of stress, whilst leaders should continue to be mindful of their direct impact on soldier wellbeing. Relationships form part of systemic resilience and contribute to soldier wellbeing, happiness and key life decisions. Army policy makers should be aware of the implications of soldier overwhelm and relationship strain in relation to financial, operational and retention decisions
  • Journey to wholeness: The psychotherapeutic role of Celtic spirituality

    Gubi, Peter; West, William; Smith, Andrew J. (University of Chester, 2021-06)
    Celtic spirituality, the Christian spirituality of Britain and Ireland which flourished in the middle of the first millennium CE, has enjoyed a modest revival at the turn of the current millennium. Existing literature focusses on theology, history and culture. This research asks the original question: “what is the psychotherapeutic role of Celtic spirituality?” It aims: to contribute to wider literature on spirituality and counselling by going deeper than previous studies of ineffable experiences through creative forms of inquiry; to find out whether and how Celtic spirituality helps participants’ wellbeing, growth and alleviation of distress; and to look psychotherapeutically at a form of spirituality, which as a holistic worldview that is optimistic about human nature, has some common ground with person-centred theory. Ten people pursuing an interest in Celtic spirituality each made a collage to represent their experience prior to, and as a starting-point for, a semi-structured interview. The data analysis comprised four stages: collage inquiry (beginning with participants’ own explanation of their picture and its elements); immersive listening to the interview recordings, briefly noting the content of each interview and what lay at the edge of their awareness; poetic inquiry, using symbolic or resonant words and phrases from each interview to re-tell the experience; and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to find themes. This original methodology of holistic qualitative inquiry concluded with summative work: a collage of the collages, word clouds of the immersive listening notes and a summative poem, “Journey to wholeness (God enfolding me, God in everything)”, comprising words and phrases from every interview, capturing every IPA theme and key words from the word clouds. The overarching, unifying IPA theme reveals Celtic spirituality to be an experience of integration and wholeness. This aligns with the actualising and formative tendencies of person-centred theory. From twenty-three subordinate themes I abstracted five superordinate themes, which also align well with aspects of person-centred theory: loving others and connection through community both particularly evidence unconditional positive regard and the latter also empathic understanding; feeling “at one with creation”, participants strongly experience the actualising and formative tendencies; being self both in the moment and through life both exhibit congruence.
  • Loneliness and Scholastic Self-Beliefs among Adolescents: A population-based survey.

    Eccles, Alice; Qualter, Pamela; Madsen, Katrine Rich; Holstein, Bjorn; University of Chester; University of Manchester; University of Southern Denmark (Routledge, 2021-10-18)
    Loneliness has previously been linked to cognitive and attentional bias, and such biases may have a detrimental impact on perceived scholastic self-beliefs. Little is known about the relationship in school-aged adolescents. The current study examined the association between loneliness and scholastic self-beliefs in a nationally representative Danish sample of adolescents (aged 11-, 13- and 15 years, n = 3815, collected by the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (HBSC, 2014). Through binary logistic regressions, results demonstrated that higher levels of loneliness, measured by a single item and a composite score, were associated with poorer self-reported achievement perception, higher feelings of school dissatisfaction, and greater feelings of school pressure. Results also suggested gender played a moderating role. The current study highlights the importance of loneliness for scholastic self-beliefs, and provides a novel insight by utilising distinct loneliness measures. The implications, in relation to research and practise, are discussed.
  • Distance, Time, Speed & Energy: A socio-political analysis of technologies of longer distance cycling

    Cox, Peter; University of Chester
    The basic laws of motion governing cycling are well understood. Consideration of the variables of energy use in cycle travel is less frequent. The potentials of both aerodynamically efficient cycle design and the augmentation of human power with e-motors dramatically reconfigure what we understand as a cycle and as cycling. The prospect of increasing travel distance in regular journeying, coupled with the logical application of augmentation (aerodynamic and/ or power), suggest a need to re-evaluate some of the ground expectations applied in design and planning for cycle travel if the cycles for which infrastructure is designed no longer conform to existing expectations of what a cycle is and how it performs. Current e-bike performance is limited principally by normative legislative intervention, not by the intrinsic potential of the technologies. Existing decisions as to what an e-bike can (and should) be, are shaped by the performance expectations of late 19th and early 20th century bicycle designs. Shaping modal shift for longer trips returns us to think about the place of cycling travel time as a function of the relationship between distance and speed. Increased speed allows for greater distance without time penalty. However, speed is itself governed by available energy, coupled with the efficiency of use of that energy. Without entirely substituting human power, E-motors allow us to augment the human power available in different ways; Changes in cycle design (velomobiles, for example) allow us to increase the efficiency of use of available power in overcoming resistance to movement. Identifying the assemblage of cycle/cyclist as a variable, rather than a determinate object to be accommodated, raises difficult questions for cycling provision, especially in relation to longer distance travel. Drawing on the capacities of already existing technologies of cycling and e-cycling, the paper focuses on the social implications of potentially problematic interactions. It argues that new decisions will need to be made in regard to speed and distance in cycle travel and that the forging of regulations consequent on those fundamentals will substantially shape the potentials and possibilities of modal shift for longer distance cycle travel. What emerges is a politics of longer distance cycle, not simply a set of technical barriers and problems.
  • Working with risk within the counselling professions

    Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2021-09-20)
    This practitioner factsheet looks at the factors that counsellors and psychotherapists need to keep in mind when working with clients who present at risk. Good practice indicators are outlined, as well as evidence-informed interventions.
  • Permission to be kind to myself’. The experiences of informal carers of those with a life-limiting or terminal illness of a brief self-compassion-based self-care intervention

    Diggory, Kate; Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2021-09-19)
    Background: Informal carers of someone with a life-limiting or terminal illness often experience marked levels of depression, anxiety and stress. Carers have limited free time to devote to lengthy, well-being interventions. Carers also struggle to prioitorize their self-care, a factor which may help buffer some of the negative impacts of being a carer. The aim of this study was to gain insight into carers’ views and perceptions of a brief, four session face to face self-compassion intervention for carers (iCare) which was created to improve well- being, increase self-compassion and develop self-care among carers. In so doing, this qualitative research addresses gaps in the literature relating to self-compassion interventions for carers and targeted self-care initiatives for carers. Method: Semi-structured interviews with nine participants of iCare were conducted and data subjected to a reflexive thematic analysis within a critical realist framework. Findings: A number of themes and sub-themes were identified. Carers discovered a kinder, less judgemental way of seeing themselves allowing themselves to recognize that they had their own individual needs. In turn this led to an intentional practise of self-care activities. Benefits from conscious self-care and self-kindness included experiencing a greater sense of calm or relaxation and the development of a more positive outlook. Conclusion: The findings highlight that a brief self-compassion intervention can have a positive impact on carers reported well-being through developing a kindlier internal orientation and locating a permission to allow themselves to practise an intentional self-care.
  • An interview with Judith Weir

    Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester (Egalitarian Publishing, 2021-09-01)
    Cemil Egeli previously worked as a researcher on the flagship arts TV programme 'The South Bank Show' (then broadcast on ITV), where in 2001 Judith Weir received the prestigious music award for her choral and orchestral work, We Are Shadows. Some 20 years later, Judith Weir has very kindly agreed to him posing some interview questions.
  • Editorial: Towards a psychomusicology

    Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester (Egalitarian Publishing, 2021-09-01)
    Editorial for the 'psychomusicology' special issue
  • Unmasking the phantom

    Lewis, Megan; University of Chester (Egalitarian Publishing, 2021-09-01)
    This article explores an experience of bereavement in adolescence and the use of musical theatre in the grieving process.
  • The views of the few or the voices of many: Methods of exploring leadership roles through alternative approaches within Higher Education.

    Lafferty, Moira E.; University of Chester
    In the following chapter I begin by discussing the changing landscape in higher education and argue why “leadership” is an important part of every academic’s journey. I discuss why we need to challenge traditional views of leadership and critically how we need to explore individuals’ views and reflections on their own leadership journeys. Furthermore, I will critically reflect on how we need to adopt different research methods to allow leadership journeys to emerge with a focus on the use of Q-methodology and why such approaches allow not only the emergence of understanding but can serve a dual purpose and contribute not only to a global understanding but also an individual’s personal development.
  • A Game Changer? The Use of Positive Action to Address Racial Disadvantage within Professional Football Coaching

    Healey, Ruth; Cowell, Sophie L. (University of Chester, 2021-09)
    This research considers the use of positive action to address the underrepresentation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) managers and coaches within English professional football. It focuses on the English Football League’s (EFL) Recruitment Code as an example of such a measure and explores whether the Recruitment Code can be considered an effective or flawed form of positive action to redress the racial inequalities faced by BAME managers and coaches. Twenty-five percent of professional footballers within the English professional leagues are BAME, significantly higher than the general BAME population within the United Kingdom of 14% (Sports People’s Think Tank ‘SPTT’, 2015). Despite this, the number of BAME managers and coaches employed within senior positions in professional football remains disproportionately low at 4.6% (SPTT, 2017). At the beginning of the 2016/17 season, the EFL introduced a positive action measure requiring clubs to interview at least one candidate from a BAME background for coaching and management positions (EFL, 2017). Whilst there exists a body of research into the experiences of BAME managers and coaches and barriers to their career progression, the issue is still largely unexplored from an anti-discrimination law perspective (Veuthey, 2013). Further, research on the EFL’s Recruitment Code is limited. This research aims to fill this gap, by utilising a mixed-methods approach to explore stakeholder perceptions of positive action and the EFL’s Recruitment Code as a form of positive action. It considers the extent to which the Recruitment Code may fit within the legal framework and whether it may demonstrate the legislative approach of reflexive regulation working effectively. This research identified several barriers to BAME manager and coach career progression, including higher standards, extra pressure, lack of role models, the recruitment practices used, and the specificity of football. It found that whilst most participants within this research supported the use of positive action, they perceived significant confusion between positive action and positive discrimination amongst the general public. On the EFL’s Recruitment Code, participants pointed to a lack of transparency and a general lack of understanding, believing the Code would not succeed in isolation and should form part of a package of measures. When considered in light of reflexive regulation, participants also pointed to factors including a perceived lack of consultation, monitoring and enforcement that suggest that features of successful reflexive regulation, as outlined by Hepple (2011), are missing. However, some participants commended the EFL for implementing the measure in light of this perceived lack of understanding of, and support for, positive action. This thesis provides Pointers for Action at Micro (Club), Meso (Sector) and Macro (National Policy) Levels, including the need for greater education and awareness, transparent monitoring and senior buy-in, as well as a need to rephrase the concept of positive action. The thesis outlines how the EFL’s Recruitment Code has the potential to be successful if introduced as part of a holistic life cycle approach to addressing underrepresentation, but in its current format can be considered a flawed form of positive action that is unlikely to redress the racial disadvantage that BAME managers and coaches face. It concludes by detailing the impact that a successful positive action measure within such a high-profile arena could have on both football and the use of positive action generally, if the EFL’s Recruitment Code is adapted in line with the suggested implications and pointers for action.
  • Gut thinking and eye tracking: Evidence for a central preference heuristic

    Thoma, Volker; Rodway, Paul; Tamlyn, Guy; University of East London; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2021-09-01)
    People prefer the central item in an array of items. This could be due to applying a decision heuristic or greater visual attention to the central item. We manipulated task instructions as participants chose one from three consumer items. The instructions were to “think carefully” in one block and to “use gut feeling” in another. A centrality preference appeared only in the “gut” condition, which was also negatively correlated with self-reported reflective thinking disposition (Need-for-Cognition). Eye-movement patterns, however, were equivalent across both instruction conditions with more frequent and longer fixations on the middle items. The findings demonstrate an effect of instructions on the centrality preference for non-identical consumer items, and provide evidence for a heuristic cause of the centrality preference rather than the allocation of visual attention. The results also show that the centrality preference is more likely to be present when people choose quickly and intuitively.
  • A Systematic Review Exploring the Reflective Accounts of Applied Sport Psychology Practitioners

    Wadsworth, Nick; McEwan, Hayley; Lafferty, Moira; Tod, David; Eubank, Martin; University of Bolton; University of the West of Scotland; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores (Taylor and Francis, 2021-10-12)
    This systematic review explores the reflective accounts of applied sport psychology practitioners. The aim of this review was to synthesize the reflective accounts of applied sport psychology practitioners and highlight common themes that provide focus to their reflective practice. The insight into current progress on reflective content in applied sport psychology provides a foundation to build on as we continue to understand this topic. Following a systematic search of the literature, a total of 73 studies were included within the review, which were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Analysis of the reflective accounts resulted in the creation of nine higher-order themes: Process and Purpose of Reflective Practice; Ethical Practice; Supporting Person and Performer; Practitioner Individuation; Relationships with Clients; Cultural Awareness; Competence-Related Angst; Support of Practitioner Development; and Evaluating Practitioner Effectiveness. The review includes recommendations for future research, such as the use of narrative analysis to provide further insight into applied practitioners’ experiences. We also provide practical implications, which are tailored to match the specific demands of practitioners at different stages of development and include increased engagement in critical reflection for trainee practitioners and engaging with ‘critical friends’ to facilitate the process of meta-reflection for newly qualified practitioners.

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