• An exploration of the emotional demands made on clergy wives in the New Testament Church of God tradition in the UK

      Gubi, Peter; West, William; Gardner, Deanne (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-09-30)
      In the context of this research, a ‘clergy wife’ is defined as the wife of a clergyman. The role of clergy wives in the New Testament Church of God (NTCG) involves substantial emotional demands. Emotional demands are aspects of a job, or role, that require continual emotional effort. Clergy wives in the NTCG tradition offer congregants emotional support and spiritual guidance. Each clergy wife is one part of a two-person career in which the wife is inducted into her husband’s career, even though she is not employed in her own right by the organisation. Whilst the emotional demands and their impact on male clergy are welldocumented in research, almost no research has been conducted on the emotional demands made on clergy wives within the NTCG tradition in the UK, and on the support that they may need to enable them to conduct their role effectively and survive its impact emotionally. This qualitative study seeks to explore the lived experiences of wives whose husbands currently serve, or have served, as pastors in the NTCG, in order to identify their current support systems and discover what further support they may need. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants (n=14). The data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The data reveal that wives experienced many emotional demands as a result of the implicit nature of the position of being a pastor’s wife. Emotional demands arose from: the role and difficulties; exposure to the personal suffering of others; and exposure to experiencing a high level of distress over a prolonged period. The research discusses the impact of emotional demands upon pastors’ wives and the necessity for developing a greater awareness of the needs of this group within the counselling, supervision and pastoral care community. Current support systems are discussed, and further support systems are recommended to enhance better pastoral care of pastors’ wives within the NTCG tradition in the UK.
    • The impact of therapist self-disclosure on clients who are themselves therapists: An exploration of discourse and lived experience

      Reeves, Andrew; Swinden, Colleen (University of Chester, 2020-08-18)
      The practice of therapist self-disclosure (TSD) has been of interest to the counselling community for over 100 years. The available literature on the topic is vast. A review of the research literature indicated a need for further research employing three factors: i) the use of a concise definition of TSD; ii) research that includes the client’s perspective; and iii) a methodology that used a qualitative approach, with the underlying assumption that the lived experience of hearing TSD may be more nuanced and complex than has previously been outlined in academic literature. For this study, the definition of TSD was outlined as a statement made by the therapist that reveals something about their life outside of the therapy room. Using semi-structured interviews with eight participants who had experienced TSD, and who were also therapists themselves. The transcripts were analysed twice using a novel approach that employed a combination of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) and discourse analysis (DA). While in IPA the emphasis is on understanding and gaining a sense of how participants describe their internal life world, by contrast in DA, the analytic emphasis is on the discursive resources used to create or construct those descriptions, and how these are mobilised by participants in terms of subject position and associated rights, duties and responsibilities of these positions. The findings were then synthesised at the post-analytical stage. Six superordinate themes emerged: i) the therapeutic relationship prior to the disclosure; ii) the disclosure content; iii) the disclosure process; iv) the short-term impact; v) the longterm impact, and vi) meaning making. Within these superordinate categories, 17 subordinate themes were identified. The DA analysis explored how, after their experiences as clients, the participants construct their own use of self-disclosure as therapists. The findings illustrated a variety of rhetorical devices that were needed to carefully manage the ethical dilemmas that can potentially accompany a therapist’s decision to disclose (or not) to their clients. These findings support extant research, but also provide fresh interpretations and many opportunities for future research.