An Exploration of How Clinical Psychologist make Sense of the Roles of Religious and Spiritual Beliefs within their Therapeutic Work with Adults who have Experienced Trauma?

Prof Doc Thesis


Harbidge, Philippa Rose 2015. An Exploration of How Clinical Psychologist make Sense of the Roles of Religious and Spiritual Beliefs within their Therapeutic Work with Adults who have Experienced Trauma? Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology
AuthorsHarbidge, Philippa Rose
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

Background and Aims: Spiritual and religious beliefs and practices hold
a central role within many individuals’ worldviews, how they function
socially and in the expression of distress. Within the profession of clinical
psychology however spirituality and religion have been referred to as a
neglected area. Some psychologists report discomfort in relation to
incorporating spirituality and religion into therapeutic practice. However,
the salience of spirituality and religion to clients who have experienced
trauma is widely reported. The relationship between spirituality, religion
and trauma has been explored, in terms of their role within meaning
making processes, as a resource for coping and also, for some people,
holding the potential for increased distress. This study aimed to explore
how clinical psychologists made sense of the roles of spirituality and
religion within their practice, working with adults who had experienced
trauma.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with eight clinical
psychologists working within two NHS trusts. Participants held a range of
preferred therapeutic modalities; cognitive, analytic and systemic.
Verbatim interview transcripts were analysed using Thematic Analysis.
Results: Four main themes were generated, ‘Spirituality and religion:
Connectedness and ambivalence’; ‘Influencing frameworks’; ‘Trauma,
spirituality and religion; Important to clients’ and ‘Contradictions in
practice’. A description of these themes and associated sub-themes is
presented.
Conclusions: Participants reported spirituality and religion to be a
difficult topic; Spirituality and religion were acknowledged to hold
significance to clients however contradictions were reported between
therapeutic intentions and therapeutic actions. Consideration was given
to the influence of wider contexts upon actions in practice. Clinical
implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Year2015
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.4548
Publication dates
PrintMay 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Oct 2015
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/85633

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