City Research Online

Psychological diagnosis, the ‘Package Deal’ and constructions of ASD

Wilson, Niah Kim (2016). Psychological diagnosis, the ‘Package Deal’ and constructions of ASD. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


Context and focus: This paper considers the use of psychological diagnoses within counselling psychology practice. It begins by discussing counselling psychology’s relationship to the medical model. It then discusses the importance of considering diagnosis from an individual’s perspective; illustrating how this is often experienced as a ‘package deal’. The benefits of diagnosis, such as access to services and its sense-making function are discussed, along with the difficulties some individuals experience, such as risks for stigma and effects on self-esteem. This is followed by exploration of how a label may become negatively internalised.

Conclusions: Given the benefits of diagnosis experienced by some individuals, the inclusion of the medical model within counselling psychology’s professional identity, and our increasing presence in the NHS, the necessity to engage with diagnoses is likely to continue. Therefore the most useful question that remains is ‘how’ counselling psychologists should engage with this. One particular therapeutic model may assist practitioners to negotiate this issue within practice: pluralism, Via a pluralistic approach to practice the medical model may be one of many perspectives that would be available but would be utilised purely in service of the client. Finally, the benefits of prioritising a formulation-led approach are also discussed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
Text - Accepted Version
Download (6MB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login