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Therapeutic implications of counselling psychologists’ responses to client trauma: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Merriman, Olivia; Joseph, Stephen

Authors

Olivia Merriman



Abstract

The past two decades have seen a surge of interest in the impact of working with trauma survivors on therapists’ psychological well-being. Existing literature assumes that therapists’ strong subjective responses to traumatic material adversely influence the therapeutic process. However, this has not yet been directly researched. Nine counselling psychologists were interviewed regarding the clinical impact of their responses to the disclosure of traumatic material. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis showed that significant challenges are experienced in the use of self in therapy with trauma survivors, including making sense of horrific human actions, negotiating complex interpersonal dynamics, and responding to ethical dilemmas in therapy. Results emphasised the importance that therapists attached to the development of their therapeutic use of self in therapy with trauma survivors, the value of learning from others and reaching a place of acceptance and hope when working with trauma survivors. Finally, specific training and development implications are proposed.

Citation

Merriman, O., & Joseph, S. (in press). Therapeutic implications of counselling psychologists’ responses to client trauma: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 31(1), https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2016.1266601

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 27, 2016
Online Publication Date Dec 26, 2016
Deposit Date Dec 20, 2016
Publicly Available Date Dec 26, 2016
Journal Counselling Psychology Quarterly
Print ISSN 0951-5070
Electronic ISSN 1469-3674
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 1
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2016.1266601
Keywords Trauma; Vicarious trauma; Counselling psychology; Interpretative phenomenological analysis; Intersubjectivity; Development; Training
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/39419
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09515070.2016.1266601
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Counselling Psychology Quarterly 26 Dec 2016 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09515070.2016.1266601

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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