• An exploration of the impact of perceived inappropriate referrals from clinical placement on the trainee counsellor’s professional development

      Sides, Mair E. (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      The purpose of this research was to explore the experiences of trainee counsellors who had worked with clients during their placement who they perceived to be inappropriately referred for counselling; and to uncover the impact of such experiences on their professional development. The data was gathered using semi-structured interviews with four participants and was subsequently evaluated using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The findings revealed three overarching super-ordinate themes that compressed a number of inter-related personal and professional issues for the developing trainee. Primary themes encapsulate an initially bewildering stance when engaging with clients, and this affected the participant’s sense of themselves as therapists and consequently exerted pressure on their clinical practice. However subsequent themes uncovered a procession of growth-enhancing features that gave rise to more secure professional identities and improved capacity to tolerate the ambiguities involved in the practice element of counselling training. The main conclusion drawn from the findings of this sample is that work with clients perceived to be inappropriately referred invokes both negative and positive influences on the trainee’s development. Suggestions for further research and implications for training are subsequently discussed.