What colour is your rainbow? A phenomenological analysis of hope in personal therapy for psychological therapy trainees of mixed race (South East Asian-White)

Krantz, Sarah I-Ching (2016) What colour is your rainbow? A phenomenological analysis of hope in personal therapy for psychological therapy trainees of mixed race (South East Asian-White). Other thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

The primary aim of this study was to gain insight into the subjective experience of hope in psychological therapies for those of South East Asian–White mixed race. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was chosen as it offers a framework for exploring the lived experience of individuals and the learnings attached to that experience. Semi-structured interviews were used with five female participants who fitted the racial descriptor. Participants were trainee psychological therapists who were in or had recently been in therapy for at least one year. Four participants were recruited through advertisement flyers and I was the fifth participant. As someone who belongs to this mixed race group, I decided to use IPA creatively in order to stand alongside my participants.

The analysis led to the emergence of five super-ordinate themes each with their own subthemes. (1) The Paradoxical Experience of Hope sat above the sub-themes of ‘doing’ and ‘being’ qualities of hope. (2) The Contrast of Hopelessness emerged with sub-themes of ‘feeling stuck’ and ‘low mood’. (3) Therapists’ Qualities that Engender Hope divided into ‘being with’ and ‘active engagement’. (4) The Importance of Being Seen included three sub-themes – ‘invisibility of race’, ‘visibility of race’ and ‘hiding oneself’ through the process known as ‘passing’ (as white). Finally, (5) The Integrated Experience had the sub-themes of ‘feeling integrated in oneself’, ‘feeling integrated with others’ and ‘the split experience of being mixed race’. These are explored in detail and show that all the emergent areas demonstrate an overarching theme of paradox. The pivotal finding about the experience of hope for this particular mixed race group was that hope arose when less visible aspects of the self (especially their racial backgrounds) were ‘seen’ and acknowledged by others.

The literature on hope predominantly demonstrates its complexity at a theoretical level and this study highlights this at relational and embodied levels. Racial difference, too, is multi-layered and relational. So, by bringing together these two areas, this study acknowledges the need for psychological therapists to be aware of racial differences in the room, however subtle, and the impact on the key therapeutic experience of hope.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Metanoia Institute
Item ID: 21256
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 14:53
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2017 14:53
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/21256

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