City Research Online

View from the small chair: clients talk about their experiences of therapy

Varsani, L. (2019). View from the small chair: clients talk about their experiences of therapy. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Relatively little research has been carried out into experiences of clients in therapy and/or counselling. There is even less regarding the understandings of experiences perceived as negative by the clients of therapy. Consequently, the purpose of the present research was to examine the experiences of clients that have experienced dissatisfaction in their encounter of psychotherapy. This is done by investigating the experiences and conceptualisations of nine participants who self-reported as having had a negative experience of their treatment. A grounded theory is applied in the research process resulting in three categories (client expectations; feeling unheard and the delicate dance of power) and five subcategories (safety within these four walls, alternative interpretations; same destination; view from the small chair and letting go) that contributed to participants labelling their experience as negative. The implications of these findings towards the best practise are discussed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
City, University of London (-2022) > School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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