• 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.
    • How do counsellors and psychotherapists understand diet and nutrition as part of the therapy process?

      Terry, Nicola; Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (Wiley, 2015-08-13)
      Background: Opinion and information in the public domain suggest that an individual's dietary and nutritional intake may be an important factor in both their physical and mental health. However, at this time in the counselling and psychotherapy field, it is not common for therapists to address issues of dietary intake and nutrition with clients. Aims: This qualitative heuristic study explores the perceptions and beliefs of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists, exploring how they understand dietary and nutritional information to be relevant as part of the therapeutic process with clients. Method: six participants were recruited through email, journal advert, poster and leaflet distribution. Data were gathered with semi-structured telephone interviews and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings: Seventeen themes were identified and organised under four master themes: (A) personal aspects of the therapist; (B) therapeutic approach and philosophy; (C) diet and nutrition within the therapy process; and (D) considering ethical practice. Implications: Implications for practice include the consideration of multidisciplinary working and developing appropriate training for practitioners in this area.
    • Is person-centred counselling effective when assisting young people who have experienced bullying in schools?

      Jones, Callum; University of Chester
      The effects of bullying on children have profoundly been researched; however, there is a gap in research on how therapy can assist children who are bullied. The aim of this research was to understand how person‐centred therapy may assist individuals who are being bullied within the school environment. Methodology Person‐centred therapy was chosen as it is the author's profession. When pursuing his master's degree and the allied research programme, the author conducted the therapy. This research was performed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The researcher worked with four research participants, and the contributors were individuals who had left school due to childhood bullying. The participants also underwent person‐centred therapy to work through the issues that bullying had caused them. A series of interviews were conducted with the participants using pre‐decided questions. These interviews were then transcribed, and key themes were found within the text. The themes, and the subordinate themes, include the following: Childhood bullying in the context of the experience of support, and the absence of support leading to trauma. Bullying as a multifaceted experience, and bullying as an emotional communication. Childhood bullying and its association to adult mental health and adult experiences of anxiety. How person‐centred counselling helped participants, and gaining support in schools. Conclusions The article found that in the school environment a lack of emotional support added to the trauma that the victims experienced from bullying. Bullying was experienced individually, but each participant reported it being an emotional way of communicating. The bullying the participants experienced during school lead to mental health problems in adulthood, the most reported mental health condition was anxiety. Finally, the article explored how the person‐centred approach assisted participants, whilst most participants found the approach to be very useful. A few participants believed that the limitations of the person‐centred approach lead to less exploration, many wished for techniques to help them cope with their bullying experiences something that CBT might be more adequate for.
    • Moving Forward: New frontiers in treatments for psychological trauma

      Kiyimba, Nikki (Wiley, 2019-04-11)
      Both the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM 5), and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) embed PTSD (and complex PTSD in the ICD-11) as categories of mental health disorders. Although these classification tools offer criteria by which patients can be assessed as to whether they meet the criteria for diagnosis of PTSD, or complex PTSD, they are not able to provide guidance on treatment options. This special section of Counselling and Psychotherapy Research showcases three very new approaches to working with psychological trauma. The first paper by Kip and Finnegan introduces Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), which is a brief intervention protocol that is already demonstrating very promising early results, particularly within the military veterans community of those also experiencing traumatic brain injury (TBI). The second paper by psychiatrists Frank Corrigan and Alistair Hull, demonstrates the ways in which the Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) is an excellent choice of treatment for those suffering from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). The third paper by Brochmann et al., explores the ways in which therapists can work effectively with groups of people who have experienced psychological trauma. Regarding the impetus of moving forward in tailoring treatments for those experiencing PTSD, the papers presented in this special issue provide a valuable starting point to discussions about treatments best suited for particular sub-populations of PTSD sufferers.
    • Social class and the therapeutic relationship: The perspective of therapists as clients. A qualitative study using a questionnaire survey.

      Trott, Alison; Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-03-01)
      Background: This research aimed to explore clients’ perceptions of the impact of social class and whether, if so how, perceived social class disparities impact upon the therapeutic relationship. Method: A total of 45 completed questionnaires, via an online survey, were returned, comprising 30 middle-class and 15 working-class qualified and practising therapists from their role as client. A quasi-phenomenological approach was taken and thematic analysis used to interrogate the data. Findings: Four primary themes were identified as follows: (1) Perceptions of own social class; (2) Social class as a facilitative aspect of therapy; (3) Negative impact of social class on therapy; and (4) Clients perceptions of their therapeutic relationship. The findings show that where there was social class disparity, it was the explicit recognition and acknowledgement of disparity that were shown to have a positive impact on the client; improving equality, increasing rapport and enabling greater psychological growth. Implications for practice: Therapists’ lack of awareness of social class was shown to lead to inadvertent oppressive and/or classist behaviour. For a client to take full benefit from therapy, therapists must recognise the importance of social class and classism and their impact upon the therapeutic relationship, and be prepared to attend to these dynamics when appropriate. Conclusions: Though many respondents thought social class was an irrelevant factor within their therapeutic relationship, this study illustrates that social class was a silent but powerful force affecting clients’ feelings of equality and the effectiveness of therapy.