Becoming a pilgrim: the lived experience of men who become therapists following a former career

Smaller, Nigel (2017) Becoming a pilgrim: the lived experience of men who become therapists following a former career. DProf thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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Changing career can be a meaningful experience: it challenges our sense of identity, allows us to discover new skills and presents opportunities for novel experiences, excitement, and growth. It can also be a daunting and costly step into a way of being without the safety net of the familiar to rely on. Less than 25% of UKCP psychotherapists and 16% of BACP counsellors are male. Those who qualify have often changed career and embarked on several years of training which may even result in lower paid work than their former career. What is it that motivates these men and what is their experience like? This project seeks to explore the lived experience of becoming a therapist following a former career for seven men over 30 years of age. It applies van Manen’s hermeneutic phenomenological approach and explicates three themes: “Fermenting Discontent”, “Pilgrimage as Project” and “The Ambivalent Allure of Acceptance”. It sees the transition as meaningful, paradoxical and complex, re-shaping their relational world and sense of identity. It also reveals the difficulties of being a minority whilst expressing otherness against a tide of otherwise homogeneous points of view with implications for the therapy profession and the society it supports.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Item ID: 21631
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 15:49
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 20:59

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