A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis of How Male Clinical Psychologists Construct Their Work with Female Clients Who Have Experienced Abuse

Prof Doc Thesis

Timberlake, Omar 2015. A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis of How Male Clinical Psychologists Construct Their Work with Female Clients Who Have Experienced Abuse. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.4774
AuthorsTimberlake, Omar
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This research sought to explore how male clinical psychologists talked about their experiences of working with women who have experienced abuse and whether such gender difference in the context of therapeutic work problematized them or had implications for their practice and subjective experiences.
Eight male clinical psychologists were recruited and interviewed using a conversational style and co-constructed interview schedules. All participants had experience of working with clients who had experienced abuse and were working in the National Health Service (NHS) in a variety of different settings, which included psychosis teams, child services and learning disability services. The data corpus was analysed using a social constructionist thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) also informed by the work of Michel Foucault (1972), set within critical realist ontology.
From the analysis two main themes were generated (Gender difference in trauma work; Male clinical psychologists’ perspectives in the wider context) and six sub-themes (Male clinical psychologist as associated with the abuser; Gender difference as therapeutic; Female clinical psychologists as problematized by gender; Supervision and peer support; Service constraints; Maleness as a minority in clinical psychology). These themes represented the various ways from their accounts in which the participants were problematized in their work with female clients who had experienced abuse. These themes highlighted the various difficulties and constraints placed upon participants in their work with female clients and with the wider discipline, particularly in regards to a lack of support in addressing issues of gender difference and accessing suitable spaces to talk about their experiences. These themes also showed the different ways in which they are constrained by a lack of available discourses that legitimises their experiences and perspectives as men in the wider field of clinical psychology.
The research recommends the importance of creating safe spaces for the consideration of gender difference and for this to also be included in clinical psychology training.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.4774
Publication dates
PrintMay 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Feb 2016
Publisher's version
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