An exploration of six lesbian and gay people’s experiences of organised religion (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), and their implications for psychotherapy: an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA)

Meades, Peter Caleb (2019) An exploration of six lesbian and gay people’s experiences of organised religion (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), and their implications for psychotherapy: an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). DPsych thesis, Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute.

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Abstract

This qualitative research project uses Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore six lesbian and gay people’s experiences of three organised religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), and the implications they have for psychotherapy. A total of six participants, three gay men and three lesbian women, were identified through an initial online survey and successive purposive sampling. Four participants had experiences with Christianity (two were Catholic and two Protestant), one with Judaism, and one with Islam. Participants self-identified with the respective religious institutions, and most were not involved with their religions at the time of the research. Data were collected using unstructured interviews and analysed to determine three major themes: “Religious Tribalism”, “Liminal Processes”, and “Navigating Relationships”.

In a present-day context of widespread heterosexist hegemony, this project has the potential to improve psychotherapists’ understanding of the intersection of sexual orientation and religion, and the diverse ways in which this plays out. The research invites therapists to re-evaluate socially constructed positions and encourages a life-course perspective. Recommendations include: providing cultural competence training for therapists, developing an integrative psychotherapy process (dialogical, relational, and interpersonal) that prioritises exploration and asking questions over providing answers, raising awareness of religious abuse and naming it when it is evident, and a call to conduct IPA with soul. Suggestions for future research include exploring heterosexual perspectives from within religious institutions in order to better understand sexual prejudice in this context; exploring religious abuse against non-heterosexual people; and a further exploration of the positive role of religion for some non-heterosexual people.

Item Type: Thesis (DPsych)
Keywords (uncontrolled): Lesbian, gay; organised religion, integrative psychotherapy, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA); intersectionality
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Metanoia Institute
Item ID: 28733
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 12:01
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 00:10
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/28733

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