• Exploring the place of counselling for parents who have lived with child-to-parent violence

      Swinton, Valda; Mintz, Rita; Le'Surf, Anne; Bridges, Ruth M.; Thomas, Jennifer (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      This study set out to explore the part played by counselling in the lives of parents afflicted by child-to-parent violence, in response to a perceived lack of literature in the area. It is a qualitative study with data generated from audio-recorded, semistructured interviews, which were subsequently analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis guidelines. Three participants explored their experiences facing child-to-parent violence, focusing upon the interventions offered, in particular counselling. Master themes from the data clustered around ‘living with abuse’, ‘negotiating a way through’ and ‘support’. An emergent theme was ‘unhelpful service interventions’, which contrasted with the theme of ‘helpful individuals’. A common emergent theme was the persistence of abuse from the child. Just as interventions appeared to depend upon how practitioners conceptualised child-to-parent violence, so too the response of participants depended on the meaning made of their different experiences. Participants’ experiences of counselling also emerged from how they had conceptualised their situations. Implications for practice indicate the need for a non-judgemental stance by counsellors to counter parental self-blame, and a greater clarity when supporting parents who are caught in a dilemma about their rights to personal safety.