The potential therapeutic value of therapist stuckness in systemic practice

Prof Doc Thesis

Richardson, Geraldine 2014. The potential therapeutic value of therapist stuckness in systemic practice. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsRichardson, Geraldine
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Theory development and research within the sphere of family therapy is an expression of who we are, where we are, and where our next horizon may lead us. The dialogical perspective introduces a new horizon to the systemic paradigm, a shift that supports new ways of observing practice. This project explored therapist stuckness, one aspect of the impasse phenomena, through this new lens. In response, the project introduced an alternative consultation model. The task of the model is to support a therapist when they encounter a stuck phase in therapy.
Thus, the principal aim of this qualitative project was to ascertain if a consultation model influenced by the aforementioned perspective supports a therapist who is experiencing a stuck phase and if the stuck phenomenon is of value to the therapeutic process.
Action Research methodology directed this inquiry. The research followed an action/reflexive cyclical trajectory with a marked responsiveness to the participant’s ideas and experiences as they engaged in the consultation and the participant/researcher dialogue. Hence, the primary method of data gathering entailed the engagement of family therapists in a consultation lead by the model. Each participant engaged in one consultation and one post consultation review. The analysis was directed through a synergy of lenses, namely: Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis, a dialogical lens and a Gadamerian Hermeneutic reflexive framework. The outcome of the analysis was translated through the Action Research lens with the outcome modifying the model format as required.
The findings revealed that therapist stuckness could be described as a multi-positioned, responsive process. This description demonstrates the complex relationship between the therapist and client group. The description points towards the need to address stuckness in a way that observes how the therapist and client group connect and participate in the therapeutic trajectory. The developed Dialogical Consultation Model attempts to address this task.
From this research, it is envisaged that the developed consultation model will provide a platform to develop a more advanced reflexive supervisory tool for use in systemic training and general systemic practice.

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Deposited04 Feb 2015
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