The impact of personal psychotherapy and supervision on volunteer counsellors.

Ciclitira, Karen ORCID logoORCID:, Marzano, Lisa ORCID logoORCID:, Starr, Fiona, Brunswick, Nicola ORCID logoORCID:, Costa, Ana and Berger, Sue (2009) The impact of personal psychotherapy and supervision on volunteer counsellors. In: 2009 BPS Annual Conference, 01-03 Apr 2009, Brighton, UK. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


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: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Applied Health Psychology group
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Forensic Psychology Research Group
Item ID: 5046
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Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2010 06:43
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 12:46

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