The Experience of Work Stress in Newly Qualified Counselling Psychologists Working in Multi-Disciplinary Team Settings: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Prof Doc Thesis


Warwick, H. 2022. The Experience of Work Stress in Newly Qualified Counselling Psychologists Working in Multi-Disciplinary Team Settings: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v8z2
AuthorsWarwick, H.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

This study explores the experiences of work stress in newly qualified (NQ) counselling psychologists (CoP) working in multi-disciplinary teams (MDT). Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted, and the transcripts analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis from a constructivist epistemological position.
The analysis highlighted four main themes as important to NQ CoPs’ experiences of work stress in MDTs: (1) Stress in transition: The qualified role as a baptism of fire, (2) Stress in navigating MDT dynamics, (3) Necessities and tensions in support networks, and (4) Managing stress in the qualified space: ‘You just have to get on with it’.
Each theme highlighted elements of participants’ experiences of work stress within the CoP journey, such as feeling that there were greater work-related demands on qualifying, in the context of fewer internal and external resources. The transition left some feeling deskilled, unprepared, and pressured to adapt and ‘catch up’. This was all whilst navigating difference and power in the MDT, and the emotional demands of the CoP role. Participants sought to feel part of the MDT ingroup yet stay true to their CoP values, which sometimes meant risking becoming professionally isolated by presenting alternative views to the predominant medical model. Additionally, participants seemingly experienced tensions regarding the use of support networks for managing stress due to the ethical limitations and emotional demands of client work. Moreover, seeking to avoid being consumed by work, and feeling pressure to represent the CoP community and ‘get on with it’, it seemed necessary on qualifying for participants to take responsibility for managing their work stress.
Recommendations seek to help NQ CoPs and those within the CoP field think how best to prepare for, evaluate, cope with, and adapt to qualification and MDT working so the potential for burnout, in an already emotionally demanding role, can be reduced.

Year2022
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v8z2
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Publication dates
Online31 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Submitted09 Oct 2022
Deposited31 Jan 2023
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