Exploring Psychological Therapists’ Experiences of Working With Clients Who Perceive Themselves as Living in Poverty: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Prof Doc Thesis


Ballo, E. 2020. Exploring Psychological Therapists’ Experiences of Working With Clients Who Perceive Themselves as Living in Poverty: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.88814
AuthorsBallo, E.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

This study seeks to understand how therapists experience their work with clients who selfrefer as living in poverty. Poverty is very rarely highlighted within counselling psychology publications and very little empirical research exists relating to how therapists understand this phenomenon. The under researched nature of poverty is surprising given this issue is becoming a topic of current debates alongside a rise in the number of individuals living in poverty and self-referring for therapy. The present study highlights a range of difficulties that therapists may face whilst working with clients living in poverty, how these difficulties may affect the work and how such difficulties are managed. The aim of these findings is to increase current knowledge about what is possible within the world of therapy and to raise awareness from which practitioners, students, training institutions and policy makers could become more informed. Eight psychotherapists took part in semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used in analysing the data. The results elicited three superordinate themes: the first, “Resilience in the struggle to engage with therapeutic work”, the second theme involved “Struggling to promote social activism” and thirdly, “Navigating multiple challenges and barriers’. The findings are examined in light of how they illuminate and diverge from various aspects of poverty-related literature and research. Suggestions are made for training, supervision, and practice, and for future research relating to poverty and mental health.

KeywordsPoverty and Therapist experience; therapy; client living in poverty
Year2020
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.88814
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Publication dates
PrintApr 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Oct 2020
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