• For a Zemiology of Politics

      Davis, Howard; White, Holly; University of Chester; Edge Hill University (Sage Publications, 2022-09-09)
      A zemiology of politics is required in the face of disastrous historic, contemporary and future social harms. Focusing on state-led politics, the article charts some politically generated or mediated social harms: military; ecological and economic. These can generate justificatory narratives of zemiogenic deceit and ignorance. In a contemporary political moment of authoritarian populism, nativism and racism, each feature as part of wider processes towards the corruption and destruction of politics. The article then suggests some of the potentials of healthy politics and fundamental principles for a zemiology of politics including: subordination of crime-centric criminology to a historically grounded international zemiology, the incorporation of agnotological perspectives, and an orientation that is public, inclusive, reflexive and non-fundamentalist.
    • Spirituality and Mental Health across Cultures

      Loewenthal, Kate Miriam; orcid: 0000-0001-7667-7809 (Informa UK Limited, 2022-08-23)
    • Evaluation of the good night out campaign: a sexual violence bystander training programme for nightlife workers in England

      Quigg, Zara; Ross-Houle, Kim; Bigland, Charlotte; Bates, Rebecca; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Springer, 2022-08-16)
      Abstract Aim Sexual violence is global public health, human rights and gender equality issue. Sexual violence bystander programmes for nightlife workers are emerging across a few countries and further examination of such programmes is required. This exploratory study evaluates the potential effectiveness of the Good Night Out Campaign, a sexual violence bystander programme for nightlife workers. Subject and methods Two hundred and seven trainees attending the 1.5 hour training programme across two cities in England were recruited opportunistically, immediately prior to training delivery. Sexual violence myth acceptance and readiness and confidence to intervene in sexual violence were measured at baseline and post-intervention. Analyses used paired-sample tests to examine differences in the three measurements pre to post-training and effect sizes were quantified using Cohen’s d. Results Compared to pre-training, post-training participants were significantly (p<0.001) less likely to agree with sexual violence myths, and more likely to be confident and ready to intervene in sexual violence or incidents of vulnerability. Erect sizes were small–medium. Conclusions The study adds to emergent evidence suggesting that sexual violence bystander programmes may be promising in decreasing sexual violence myths and barriers to bystander intervention, and increasing willingness to intervene amongst nightlife workers. Findings can support the emergence of sexual violence prevention activities implemented in nightlife spaces. Further programme implementation and evaluation using experimental designs is needed to explore outcomes in greater depth, considering the complexity of the nightlife environment.
    • An exploration of the differences and similarities between Counselling and Confession, as experienced by Counsellors who are, or have been, Catholic Priests.

      Devassia, Jinson; Gubi, Peter M.; University of Chester; Teofilo Kisanji University (Taylor and Francis, 2021-11-22)
      This research sought to examine the question, “what are the similarities and differences between counselling and Confession?”, by exploring the experiences of five Catholic priests, who are also qualified counsellors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five participants, who each have a minimum of five years of experience in both counselling and the Catholic priesthood. The data was analysed using Thematic Analysis. The research found that there are some similarities between the sacrament of Confession and the practice of counselling. These are that both practices involve being empathetic, unconditional, non-judgemental, keeping confidence, and careful listening. There are also clear differences between the two practices, the main differences being their intention and faith context. Both counselling and Confession deal with similar ‘human’ struggles, are understood using different languages (theology and psychology), have a different intention, but contribute much comfort to many who are seeking peace.
    • Mental Wellbeing and Boosting Resilience to Mitigate the Adverse Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Critical Narrative Review

      Beckstein, Amoneeta; Chollier, Marie; Kaur, Sangeeta; Ghimire, Ananta R.; Fort Lewis College; University of Chester; GHU Psychiatry and Neurosciences, Paris; Emerging Journey Asia; Uniglobe College (SAGE Publications, 2022-05-28)
      The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc globally. Besides devastating physical health consequences, the mental health consequences are dire as well and are predicted to have a long-term impact for some individuals and communities and society as a whole. Specific keywords were entered into various popular databases at three points in time (June 2020, April 2021, and February 2022). Articles about COVID-19 that focused on mental health and/or discussed improving resilience/coping were reviewed by the authors. A total of 119 publications were included. The pandemic is certainly a chronic stressor for many people, and some may be traumatized in the aftermath which may lead to stress-related disorders. The psychological impacts of this stress and trauma are reported and findings presented around three key themes: mental health impact, impact in the workplace, and improving resilience. In addition, particularly vulnerable populations are discussed and some of the violence and inequities they might face. Resilience literature offers keys to promoting positive mental wellbeing during and after the pandemic. Being able to effectively respond to the heterogeneity of specific situations while building resilience is addressed. Prevention, preparedness, Psychological First Aid training, and trauma informed practice can all contribute to building resilience and promoting peri/post-traumatic growth at all levels of society. This narrative review provides an overview of the literature on mental health and resilience in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors propose that, through the use of the accumulated empirical knowledge on resilience, we can mitigate many of the most damaging outcomes. Implications for mental health professionals, policy suggestions, and future research directions are explored.
    • Magazines as contradictory spaces for alcohol messaging: a mixed method content and thematic analysis of UK women’s magazine representations of alcohol and its consumption

      Atkinson, Amanda; Meadows, Beth; Ross-Houle, Kim; Smith, Chloe; Sumnall, Harry; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester
      BACKGROUND Women’s magazines provide a space in which gendered norms around alcohol-related practice are (re)-produced. They act as important points of reference for women to draw upon in their own understandings of alcohol use within their identity making. Studying the alcohol-related messages women’s magazines disseminate is therefore an important line of inquiry. METHODS An analysis of textual and visual alcohol depictions, including alcohol advertising, in 70 editions of 20 printed magazines targeted at and read by women, published between August 2020 and January 2021, was conducted using quantitative content and qualitative thematic analysis. RESULTS Women’s magazines have the potential to disseminate public health messages about the physical and mental health impacts of alcohol use, alcohol’s role in gender inequalities and the risk of harm from alcohol use by men. However, they do so in ways that reproduce harmful gender norms and expectations, and overlook the structural causes of alcohol-related harms. Associations between alcohol use and violence against women were simplified, in ways that ignored the root causes, produced victim-blaming narratives and deflected responsibility from the perpetrator to the effects of alcohol. Narratives around drinking and sobriety were underpinned by concerns over appearance, which reinforced social expectations of the ideal feminine body. Health narratives were in conflict with the presence of pro-alcohol messages such as consumption suggestions and alcohol advertising, which promoted alcohol use as a normalised aspect of women’s day to day lives. CONCLUSIONS Women receive a number of mixed and contradictory messages on alcohol use through their magazine readership, which places limits on magazines as educational sources of public health messaging.
    • An exploration of the impact of diversity and culture on the journey of faith and spirituality of the counsellor who is a Christian

      Gubi, Peter; West, William; Barton, Heather D. (University of Chester, 2021-09)
      Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of diversity and culture on the journey of faith and spirituality of the counsellor who is a Christian. This is an under-researched area. Method: The study explored the experiences of eight experienced counsellors who were also Christian. It was conducted by means of semi-structured qualitative interviews. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Analysis of data identified five superordinate themes: 1) thoughts on motivations; 2) perspectives on training; 3) experiences in supervision; 4) experiences of faith and spirituality; 5) experiences of diversity and culture. Discussion: The data revealed that participants believed their faith to be a vital part of their desire to become a counsellor. In spite of this, they received little preparation for the diverse clients they were to meet and found little support in the areas of diversity and culture, or faith and spirituality, in training or supervision. They also faced challenges to their own faith and spirituality. This has, however, resulted in what participants believe is a broader and deeper faith. A move to a new stage of faith, which they may not have reached had they not become counsellors, was also identified. Conclusion/Implications: Gaps in training and supervision were highlighted, and areas for further research are identified.
    • Developing creative methodologies: using lyric writing to capture young peoples’ experiences of the youth offending services during the COVID-19 pandemic

      Wilkinson, Dean; Price, Jayne; Crossley, Charlene; University of Chester (Emerald, 2022-04-12)
      Purpose The COVID-19 lockdowns (2020–2021) disrupted all aspects of usual functioning of the criminal justice system, the outcomes and impact of which are largely still unknown. The pandemic has affected individuals across the wider society, this includes a negative impact on the social circumstances of children and young people involved within youth offending services (YOS) (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, 2020; Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorates, 2021). This population frequently represents those from marginalised circumstances and are rarely given the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the services they are involved in. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of the young people serving orders with the YOS during Covid19 lockdowns and requirements. Design/methodology/approach This paper outlines a creative methodology and method used to uncover the experiences and perceptions of young people undergoing an order within a YOS during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The arts-based approach entailed a novel and creative method using a lyric artist to engage with young people through a virtual platform, supporting them to create lyrics about their experiences of the YOS during this time. Findings The artist developed a successful rapport with young people based on familiarity with, and passion for, music. He promoted their strengths, improving their confidence which was perceived to elicit more in-depth perspectives that might not have otherwise been obtained using more traditional methods. As such, the method and methodology outlined developed the young people’s social and communicative skills whilst producing meaningful feedback that can contribute to the YOS recovery plan and thus future of the service. Practical implications This paper reports on a novel arts-based research methodology, implemented to capture meaningful data from participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Originality/value This paper reports on a novel arts-based research methodology, implemented to capture meaningful data from participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Creels and Catenary wires: Creating Community through Winter Lights Displays

      Bennett, Julia; University of Chester (Sage, 2022-03-22)
      Lighting up darkness is a material practice shared across many cultures. Lighting up winter darkness is a particular concern in urban areas in order to make urban spaces feel safer and more welcoming. Temporary lights, often characterized as ‘Christmas’ or ‘Winter’ lights, are installed over the darkest period of the year (December in the northern hemisphere) in town and city centres to attract shoppers and tourists. This paper examines the lights displays installed over the Christmas / New Year period in two British towns. In each case the lights are installed by volunteers, who also arrange a ‘switch on’ community celebration. The research argues that the architecture of the lights signifies and reinforces the identities of the communities involved. In particular, the paper examines: the importance of infrastructure for the ongoing creation of community; the creative potential of these temporary structures for community identity; and the essential materiality of community.
    • A pilot evaluation study of pastoral supervision provision in the Moravian Church (British Province)

      Mwenisongole, Tuntufye Anangisye; Gubi, Peter M.; University of Chester; Teofilo Kisanji University
      This pilot study is an evaluation of pastoral supervision within the Moravian Church (British Province). The findings indicate that pastoral supervision is considered sufficiently beneficial, with 94% having found pastoral supervision to be of help to them, to be worth continuing with, and to be worth continuing to be funded by the denomination; thereby adding a contribution to the discussion on the value of pastoral supervision for clergy.
    • An exploration of how trainee counsellors, who have a Christian faith, experience the impact of person-centred counsellor training on their faith

      Abbey, Paula; Gubi, Peter M.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2022-02-07)
      This study explores how trainee counselors, who have a Christian faith, experience the impact of person-centered counselor training on their faith. The research question was: ‘How do trainee counsellors who have a Christian faith experience the impact of person-centred counsellor training on their faith?’ The aims were: to explore the possible impact of person-centered counselor training on Christian faith; to explore trainees’ level of comfort at exploring issues of faith on the course; and to understand how counselor trainees who have a Christian faith perceive their faith ‘fits’ with person-centered theory. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews and ana lyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings point to the centrality of God within the process of becoming a person-centered counselor, from the decision to train, to interpre tation of theory. All participants reported no, or limited, input from tutors on religious and spiritual issues. Differing levels of comfort were felt in the disclosure and exploration of their religious faith whilst training, citing supervisors of Christian faith or church members as the main sources of support with religious or spiritual issues. All participants experienced changes to their religious beliefs and practices, which occurred during and after the course of study.
    • Falling into an abyss: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the lived experiences of the parents of autistic daughters in the UK

      Reeves, Andrew; Chollier, Marie; Chantrey, Lucy (University of Chester, 2021-11)
      Whilst research increasingly focuses on autism in girls, there is a dearth of literature around the experience of parenting an autistic daughter in the UK, with the few studies that do focusing only on mothers. The data was gathered through in-depth semi-structured interviews that explored the lived experience of parenting an autistic daughter for six mothers and two fathers, from their first concerns, through to the diagnosis, with life in-between and beyond. Their daughters were aged between eleven and seventeen at diagnosis and were diagnosed within the UK. IPA was used to analyse the data. Five superordinate themes were identified: Journey to diagnosis; Negotiating systems; Psychological impact; Living with an autistic daughter; and Reflections. The research demonstrates that the parents of autistic daughters find themselves seeking professional advice and support for a pervasive condition that, whilst better known for its familiar male presentation, appears invisible in its female form to all but those in their close family. The impact of the ensuing struggle to have their concerns believed and to obtain her autism diagnosis often has profoundly negative consequences, leaving families in crisis, chaos in daily life, and parents’ mental and physical health compromised. The subsequent delay in diagnosis means that their daughter remains unsupported in her education and social life, with the adverse ramifications of this reverberating throughout her family. The findings of this study have implications for parents, professionals, and the field of research in terms of the need for a better recognition and understanding of female autism, an apposite educational setting, and a holistic approach to family support.
    • How supervisee self-care is addressed in the clinical supervision of counsellors and psychotherapists: A qualitative exploration

      Gubi, Peter; Seabrook, Michelle (University of Chester, 2021)
      This research explored how supervisee self-care is, or isn't, addressed in clinical supervision, using a sequential qualitative method. The aims of the study were to analyse the process and dialogue used: to explore supervisee and supervisor understanding; how addressing supervisee self-care can be enhanced or maintained and how this can be implemented into training and practice. Both self-care and clinical supervision are ethical requirements. Counsellors and psychotherapists are not immune to personal stress and work-related well-being impairment. Clinical supervision can form part of a self-care strategy. Few studies have focussed explicitly on the combination of the topics. Few studies in counselling and psychotherapy have used a mixed sequential qualitative approach to investigate an aspect of clinical supervision. Four supervisory dyads were recruited. The study consists of three stages. Stage one required audio recordings of three consecutive clinical supervisions from each dyad, resulting in twelve supervision sessions. A discourse analysis, using a Discursive Psychology lens, was used to analyse extracts from the sessions where instances of supervisee self-care were observed. The discourse shows that there are discursive elements that enable, or limit, discourse on self-care. Stage two involved interviewing the supervisors from the dyad. Supervisees were interviewed in stage three. The data from the semi-structured interviews was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Superordinate themes for the supervisors were 'I am here', 'Where are you?' and 'We're the instruments'. Superordinate themes for the supervisees were 'Me, myself and I' and 'You and I'. The findings indicate that there is an interplay between experience, understanding and discourse. Issues around supervisee self-awareness, evaluations of self-care, the supervisory relationship, and early experiences of supervision impact on how selfcare issues are introduced and subsequently explored. Disclosure of self-care issues can be framed in tentative, or hesitant, language, which can link to the supervisees understanding of how acceptable self-care topics are in supervision. There can be a negative emotional response to disclosing self-care or feeling under scrutiny from the supervisor. Metaphor can assist with self-care disclosure. Supervisors can influence self-care exploration through demonstrating a shared understanding of a self-care issue. Laughter and dialogue that shifts the focus can limit addressing self-care. The study offers a means of transferring the results into practice: encouraging engaging in a discussion that explores the influential factors on addressing self-care in supervision. The findings of this study are transferrable rather than generalisable. There are implications for practice and training. Limitations of the study and areas for future research are identified.
    • ‘The Berwyn Way’: A Qualitative Study of the Rehabilitative Model at HMP Berwyn

      Hughes, Caroline; Gorden, Caroline; Prescott, Joanne A. (University of ChesterWrexham Glyndŵr University, 2021-07)
      Typified predominantly as ‘agencies of disempowerment and deprivation’, traditional prisons represent the antithesis of a rehabilitative setting (De Viggiani, 2007a, p.115). As such, the aim of this qualitative study was to explore the physical, psychological, and social implications of HMP Berwyn’s rehabilitative model (The Berwyn Way) from the perspective of prison residents and operational staff. As a single-site project, Berwyn was of particular interest because of its recent introduction to the UK prison estate. Opening in February 2017, Berwyn, a North Walian establishment, housing up to 2106 adult males, opened with an ambitious rehabilitative agenda which promised to normalise the prison setting by focusing on rehabilitative cultures and values, improved spatial design, therapeutic staff-resident relationships and a person-first lexicon which aimed to replace traditional prison terminology with inclusive alternatives. These are but some of the approaches listed under the ‘Berwyn Way’, and in addressing the many others, this thesis discusses the wider implications of Berwyn’s approach, and does so, with accounts from a sample of 20 prison residents and 20 operational staff, using semi-structured interviews. To capture further nuances, triangulation was utilised and included ethnographic observations and detailed fieldnotes. Thematic analysis of the triangulated dataset generated four themes: The Berwyn Way; Lifting the liminal veil between the outside and inside; Managing behaviour, and finally, Actions speak louder than words: rethinking prison language, relationships and interactions. Findings from the study did not support the expectation that Berwyn’s rehabilitative model would be broadly accepted, and instead there was some resistance to rehabilitative change, both from a resident and staff perspective. From a rehabilitative standpoint, there were however areas of notable best-practice, with certain operational areas encapsulating the essence of Berwyn’s rehabilitative model with consistent professional practice, acceptance to Berwyn’s overarching vision and a willingness to challenge the orthodox narrative of punitive imprisonment. The thesis concludes with observations surrounding the implications of the study for rehabilitative penal practice within prisons in England and Wales, and recommendations for future research.
    • Recovery capital in the context of homelessness, high levels of alcohol consumption, and adverse significant life events

      Ross-Houle, Kim; Porcellato, Lorna; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University (Taylor and Francis, 2021-12-16)
      Homelessness and heavy alcohol consumption are increasing global public health concerns. Homelessness is associated with poorer health outcomes, shorter life expectancy, and are more likely to engage in health risk behaviours. High levels of alcohol consumption intersect with the cause and effect of homelessness making this an important consideration for research. This is explored through a theoretical lens of recovery capital, referring to the resources required to initiate and maintain recovery, and is applied to both heavy alcohol consumption and homelessness. Life history calendars were utilised alongside semi-structured interviews to explore the impact that adverse life events had on alcohol consumption and living situations with 12 participants in contact with homelessness services in North-West England. The findings consider how social, health, and structural-related adverse life events were both a cause and effect of homelessness and increasing consumption of alcohol, which were further exacerbated by a lack of recovery capital. The authors argue for further consideration relating to the intersection of homelessness and high levels of alcohol consumption in relation to recovery capital. The findings have implications for policy and practice by demonstrating the need for relevant services to help individuals develop and maintain resources that will sustain recovery capital.
    • 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.