The impact of personal psychotherapy and supervision on volunteer counsellors.

Ciclitira, Karen and Marzano, Lisa and Starr, Fiona and Brunswick, Nicola and Costa, Ana and Berger, Sue (2009) The impact of personal psychotherapy and supervision on volunteer counsellors. In: 2009 BPS Annual Conference., 1 to 3 April 2009, Brighton. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Objectives: This paper will present findings from research-in-progress which is being carried out at a dedicated women’s health and counselling centre in north London. Its main objective will be to explore how volunteer counsellors’ own supervision and psychotherapy inform their clinical work. Methodology: The main theoretical influences on the data analysis were frameworks and debates in feminism (e.g. Harding, 1987, 1991), clinical theory and practice (e.g. Roth & Fonagy, 1996), and discourse analytic theory (e.g. Parker, 1997). Semi-structured Interviews were conducted with 17 volunteer counsellors who were interviewed individually, aged from 32 years to 63 years. Each counsellor had worked at the centre for at least five months. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim, and data were analysed by three authors of this paper drawing on thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) and discourse analysis (Burman & Parker, 1993; Willig, 2001). Analysis: Categories and themes were identified from the interview data and were considered with attention to participants’ lives and the research context. One of the main themes that emerged was ‘support’, which portrayed a wide range of counsellors’ views about their experiences of undergoing psychotherapy, training and being in clinical supervision. This paper will discuss these experiences and views, in relation to broader debates within clinical literature about levels of support for clinicians working in the voluntary sector. Discussion: There is currently a wide disparity in requirements for personal supervision and clinical supervision in clinical trainings. Researchers have examined the impact of personal psychotherapy and supervision in clinical practice (e.g. Kilminster & Jolly, 2000). This research highlights the importance of exploring the impact and usefulness of different types of support for volunteer clinicians. Although the counsellors in this study reported experiencing this health centre as a ‘safe, and protected place’, they emphasised the importance of different types of clinical support as a way to help them to deal with the complexity and variety of issues that they are confronted within their clinical practice.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Forensic Psychology Research Group
ID Code:5046
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Deposited On:12 Apr 2010 06:43
Last Modified:04 Nov 2014 17:15

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