Experiencing Counselling Psychology Training: An IPA Analysis

Prof Doc Thesis

Efstathiou, Vasoula 2017. Experiencing Counselling Psychology Training: An IPA Analysis. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.5891
AuthorsEfstathiou, Vasoula
TypeProf Doc Thesis

We know very little about the wider training and life experiences of counselling psychologists. The little research that has been carried out on the experiences of training programmes has tended to focus on a particular aspect, for example, the wounded healer and how early experiences of caring for others can motivate people to become professional carers; and the experiences of mandatory personal therapy, rather than looking at the wider journey that a trainee counselling psychologist travels.
The current research aimed to explore the broader experiences of trainee counselling psychologists. How do trainee counselling psychologists’ prior expectations inform their experiences of training? How do trainee counselling psychologists make use of personal therapy to support their development?
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven final year trainee counselling psychologists from different United Kingdom Universities and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse the transcripts.
Three superordinate themes were identified. These were named, Uncertainty at this new training journey, which explored the participants’ early experiences of the training course; From ambivalence to acceptance: Individual growth during training, which explored how the participants’ overall training journey progressed and increased their self-awareness; and Developing a professional identity, which explored the participants’ development of their identity through becoming more confident, changing as a person and learning from others. The findings suggest that the participants brought with them expectations of their training which did not often match up with reality. The findings also illustrated that the majority of participants seemed to have been in some way ‘wounded’ in the past and this led to them wanting to help others to heal. Furthermore, the results suggest that the majority of participants were initially resistant to having mandatory personal therapy, but by the end of training they found it to be an essential part of their training.
Findings are discussed and translated into training recommendations that will benefit trainees apriori and during their journeys in the form of workshops, counselling and support sessions and student support so that trainees are better informed about what to expect when embarking on the training course.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.5891
Publication dates
PrintMar 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited18 May 2017
Publisher's version
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