Narratives of Christian and Muslim Qualified and Trainee Clinical Psychologists Working in the NHS

Prof Doc Thesis

Arthur, Y. 2018. Narratives of Christian and Muslim Qualified and Trainee Clinical Psychologists Working in the NHS. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsArthur, Y.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Research has evidenced the significant contribution of religious/spiritual beliefs, in improving one’s mental wellbeing. This is of relevance to the profession of clinical psychology and is reflected in guidelines from professional bodies, which specify that the beliefs of clients should be explored and respected by healthcare professionals. Interestingly, mental health professionals who hold religious/spiritual beliefs may address the beliefs of their clients in diverse ways, due to the significance of their own beliefs. Thus it is suggested that there is a need to understand one’s relationship to religion/spirituality, in order to appropriately attend to a client’s beliefs. However, there is no guidance on how to manage conflicting beliefs in the therapeutic relationship, with colleagues or the NHS context. Furthermore, there is limited guidance on managing self-disclosure. There is a gap in the research on the experiences of clinical psychologists who hold religious/spiritual beliefs, which this study hopes to address. The aim of the present research was to explore the narratives of Christian and Muslim, qualified and trainee clinical psychologists working in the NHS.
Five semi-structured interviews were conducted with qualified and trainee clinical psychologists who hold Christian or Muslim beliefs. Interviews were analysed used a performative/dialogic form of Narrative Analysis.
Findings suggested that the interviewees’ beliefs’ had a positive influence on their role as psychologists and also in supporting clients in discussing their own religious/spiritual beliefs. The decision to share one’s beliefs was a careful and thoughtful process, which was influenced by the NHS context, placement supervisors and perceptions of the discipline of psychology. Significantly, interviewees storied silencing as trainees, due to being a minority in their beliefs, which further influenced how they approached the beliefs of their clients and also how they discussed their beliefs amongst colleagues and academic staff.
Recommendations for the clinical psychology doctorate course, clinical supervision, professional guidelines, and future research are suggested, in light of the study findings.

KeywordsReligion; spirituality; Christian; Islam; clinical psychology
PublisherUniversity of East London
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PrintMay 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Nov 2019
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