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Therapists' construction of their clients' trauma-related intrusive memories in the context of client distress: a grounded theory analysis

Idowu, A. O. (2018). Therapists' construction of their clients' trauma-related intrusive memories in the context of client distress: a grounded theory analysis. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University of London)

Abstract

Quantitative research has shown that individuals who report intrusive memories of traumatic events often experience psychological distress. There is a need for qualitatively focused research, which would allow for an understanding of how therapists construct and make sense of their clients’ intrusive trauma memories in the context of the clients’ psychological distress. The research involved face to face semi-structured interview with nine qualified psychologists about their experience of working with trauma clients. The data were analysed using constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006). The research study facilitated nuanced understanding of clients' trauma memories from the perspective of therapists. It explored the process of the therapists looking within to make sense of the impact of their clients’ trauma experiences on them. It also allowed the researcher to examine how the therapist changes as a result of their engagement with trauma clients. Grounded theory analysis demonstrated that therapists constructed some important categories. These include; trauma memories as threat to sense of self, appraisal processes of trauma memories, discovering survival strategies, therapists' process in therapy with clients, therapists changing and reflecting as a result of trauma work and therapist discovering coping strategies. The findings indicate that trauma work also brings some rewards and privileges in the form of strength, growth, and empowerment. The research findings have important implications for policy and practice, service quality, and the well-being of therapists and their clients.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/21731
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