Religious Coping in the Trainee Clinical Psychologist: Beliefs; Practices; Implications.

Prof Doc Thesis

Beresford, Helen 2003. Religious Coping in the Trainee Clinical Psychologist: Beliefs; Practices; Implications. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsBeresford, Helen
TypeProf Doc Thesis

A qualitative approach (interpretative phenomenological analysis) was used to explore the
experiences of religiously oriented trainee clinical psychologists. Eight female participants
(seven Christians and one Hindu) were recruited using a snowballing technique. A semi
structured interview was designed to explore their use of religious coping in dealing with
work/training related stress. This was considered particularly within the context of the
historically critical attitude of psychology towards religion. The analysis demonstrated that all
of the participants regularly used religious coping in a work context and further, that they held
religion to be a valuable aspect of their lives and a central part of their identity. On the whole
participants considered their religious beliefs and religious coping to be a beneficial and
enriching part of their working lives. It also emerged however, that their experiences of the
profession of clinical psychology as critical of their beliefs, on the whole led them to be
guarded and at times secretive (with peers, colleagues, supervisors and tutors) about the
impact of their faith on their therapeutic work and on their thinking. I propose that this lack of
communication is not ideal for trainees, has implications for client work and is at odds with a
profession that promotes evidence-based practice, reflexivity and the use of supervision. The
clinical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed and an initial training tool
for promoting thought and discussion is included. Areas are identified for further research.

Publication dates
PrintSep 2003
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Jun 2014
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