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"I wasn't feeling like I belonged in my skin": How self-identified gay men in the UK experience unhelpful incidents in therapy

Televantos, M. (2019). "I wasn't feeling like I belonged in my skin": How self-identified gay men in the UK experience unhelpful incidents in therapy. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

Contemporary psychological research and practice in Western Societies oppose pathologising perspectives about same-sex attraction. Nonetheless, recent research indicates that gay men may still experience unhelpful incidents in therapy in relation to their sexual/affectional orientation. This can hinder their psychological well-being. However, there is hardly any research focusing on how self-identified gay men (SIGM) experience these unhelpful incidents. Such research could help clinicians enhance their empathic understanding when working therapeutically with this client group. The present study addresses this gap in the literature and offers insight into the phenomenon of unhelpful therapy experiences of SIGM clients in relation to their sexual/affectional orientation. The data was collected through individual, semi-structured interviews of six SIGM (aged 25-57) describing how they currently experience these unhelpful incidents. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis shed light on the following Master Themes: Making Sense of Disconnection, A Rejecting Therapy for a Gay Individual, and Understanding the Impact of Unhelpful Incidents Outside Therapy. The relevance of these findings for Counselling Psychology and their implications for practice, training and future research 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
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2020 11:49
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/25160
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