Now showing items 21-40 of 475

    • 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.
    • Distance, Time, Speed & Energy: A socio-political analysis of technologies of longer distance cycling

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (University of Westminster Press, 2022-04-19)
      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.
    • Community Renewable Energy Projects. The future of the sustainable energy transition?

      Fernandez, Rosa M.; University of Chester
      The Energy Union and the European Green Deal advocate the participation of citizens and communities in the energy transition, which encourage a bottom-up approach in the implementation of sustainable energy initiatives. Both are in tune with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which attempt to involve all members of society in the sustainability path. The reality in EU Member States however, is that community energy still lacks the necessary regulatory framework to compete with large utility companies. This can indicate that the governance framework is lagging behind, still not ready to include communities (collective citizens) as full participants in the energy transition.
    • Europe's Transition to Sustainability: Actors, Approaches and Policies

      Fernandez, Rosa M.; Schoenefeld, Jonas.; Hoerber, Thomas; Oberthuer, Sebastian; University of Chester; University of East Anglia; ESSCA School of Management; Vrije Universiteit Brussels; University of Eastern Finland (Routledge, 2021-09-06)
      The European Union has developed an international reputation as an advocate of sustainability and as a leader in environmental policy and in tackling climate change. The European Green Deal is the latest amongst numerous policy initiatives indicating an aspiration to lead. The contributions to this special issue show, however, that the path to sustainability in the EU (and beyond) is far from clear cut, with uneven progress in a number of policy areas. Some Member States are lagging behind, and there are barriers both within and outside the EU. Moving forward, a successful transition still requires substantial policy effort.
    • Tears from the void: The arts, the spiritual and the therapeutic

      Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester
      Cemil Egeli has an autoethnographic conversation about a night at the theatre, posing questions to himself to challenge and explore his thinking further.
    • Exploring the 'talk' of suicide: Using discourse-informed approaches in exploring suicide risk

      Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (Routledge, 2021-03-25)
      This chapter considers how discourse-based approaches can help facilitate mental health work with clients/patients who present at risk of suicide. This is discussed in the context of a predominant and traditional risk assessment questionnaire approach, increasingly acknowledged as having low predictive quality.
    • The impacts of the drop in staffing provision in the transition between the youth custody estate and young adult/adult estate

      Price, Jayne; University of Chester (HM Prison Service of England and Wales, 2021-09-08)
      This article offers a critical view of the differences in staffing provision between the YCE and young adult/adult estate. The data outlines the issues associated with the cliff-edge of staffing training and provision for young adults which is seemingly an accepted aspect of the young adult/adult estate. The accounts of staff and young people demonstrates how their experiences of diminished resources through to the young adult/adult estate are insufficient to provide the level of support required. It is argued that there should be greater numbers of suitably trained prison officers within institutions holding young adults to work effectively with this distinct population.
    • Becoming an Urban Cycling Space

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (University of Chester Press, 2022-01-24)
      Peter Cox shows how the rapid transformations of many city spaces during the covid-19 pandemic has dramatically altered both perceptions of the spaces in which cyclists ride the city and the possibilities of becoming an urban cyclist. This chapter first looks back in a wider historic context to show the double process of cyclists adapting to existing European cities and how, in turn, cyclists’ presence has changed the cities themselves. It then examines some of the adaptations produced in response to the pandemic and the ways in which this has made cities appear different spaces for cycling. Finally, it examines some of the emergent policy frameworks produced during this time and their implications for future relations between cyclists and other forms of urban mobility.
    • Vélomobility is to degrowth as automobility is to growth: Prefigurative cycling imaginaries

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester
      At the end of the nineteenth century, the autonomous mobility provided by bicycles and tricycles created a mobile imaginary that paved the way for automobility. Through the course of the twentieth century, the growth and decline of cycling mobilities was inseparably entangled with the rise of a range of motor-mobilities (two and four wheeled). Yet cycling persists and is championed widely as a contender for future mobility in post-growth societies. However, the hegemonic position reached by automobility as a dominant system has led to closure of political non-car mobility imaginaries. United In Science, the high-level synthesis report to the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, noted that the nationally determined contributions to carbon reduction made in the Paris agreement need to be tripled to reach target CO2 reduction levels: this will entail dramatic transformation of mobilityscapes. This paper consequently explores the possibilities and problems inherent in formulating vélomobility as a system of autonomobility, paying special attention to its alignment with the range of radical alternatives clustered around degrowth (D’Alisa, Demaria, and Kallis 2014) and the pluriverse (Kothari et al. 2019; Escobar 2020) as promising ways to think and act beyond the unsustainable carbon economy. It does so in three parts: first it examines the challenges of imagining vélomobility not just as a set of practices but cognitively, through its conceptual construction not as an inverse of automobility but as a system that also challenges the political underpinnings of automobility. Second, it considers vélomobility through a set of propositions and briefly explores through examples the complexities involved in reimagining mobility regimes as well as the resources from political theory that may be important to it. Finally, the last section reverses the gaze and asks what the reconsideration of vélomobility as described previously can bring to the broader discussion of autonomobility.
    • Finding my voice: A qualitative exploration into the perceived impact of person-centred counsellor training upon counsellors who were adopted as a baby.

      Parkes, Charlotte Hannah; Mintz, Rita; University of Chester
      This small‐scale qualitative study explored how qualified person‐centred counsellors who were adopted as a baby perceived the impact of their person‐centred counselling training. The study focused on the adoptees’ experiences of adoption and how these influenced their experience of person‐centred counselling training. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis to gain insight into how the participants made sense of their lived experience. The findings supported the difficulties associated with adoption, which not only are present in existing literature and research but also placed an emphasis on the particular vulnerabilities associated with being adopted as a baby. The findings further highlighted the positive impact of person‐centred counselling training on the participants’ personal development, which included the following: increased self‐awareness, self‐acceptance, identity development and ‘having a voice’. The findings confer implications for clinical practice in understanding the experience of adoptees who were adopted as a baby and for trainers in the planning and provision of person‐centred training. The research also identifies the healing aspects of person‐centred counselling training, which facilitated the participants’ positive self‐development. In addition, unique opportunities for counsellors who were also adopted as a baby are suggested and the need for the Adoption Support Fund to be extended to allow an adoptee of any age to access therapeutic support is also identified. The links made between adoption and person‐centred training are an original area of research and are worthy of further exploration.
    • Transformation hidden in the sand; a pluralistic theoretical framework using sand-tray with adult clients

      Fleet, Doreen; Reeves, Andrew; Burton, Amy; DasGupta, Mani; University of Staffordshire; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2021-06-14)
      Jungian sandplay predominates the existing literature on sand-tray therapy. Although there is a small volume of literature on alternative approaches of using sand-tray with adults, most primarily focuses on children and adolescents. The study aimed to establish a sand-tray therapy framework to be utilized by practitioners who are not Jungian trained and intend to use this intervention with adult clients. The grounded theory (Strauss and Corbin, 1990, 1998) multiple case study involved six client-participants receiving six sand-tray therapy sessions. The pluralistic model established incorporates inter-relational and intra-psychic dimensions. Concepts include phenomenological shift and two sand-tray specific mechanisms of phenomenological anchor and phenomenological hook, aiding ‘edge of awareness’ and unconscious processing. In this study, pluralistic sand-tray therapy was deemed successful based on improved CORE-10 clinical scores and the various participant feedback collected.