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Experience of uncontrollable challenging events in life: works comprising a qualitative research on European banking professionals’ lived experiences of Brexit and a client study of narrative therapy work with a HIV positive person

Huang, Y.-C. (2021). Experience of uncontrollable challenging events in life: works comprising a qualitative research on European banking professionals’ lived experiences of Brexit and a client study of narrative therapy work with a HIV positive person. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

This doctoral portfolio comprises of three sections: a research study, a clinical case study, and a publishable journal article. The aim of this portfolio is twofold: to shed light onto how people may experience challenging life events and situations that appear to be out of control, which can be stressful, overwhelming and anxiety-inducing; and to reflect some of the key qualities in my doctoral training to become a Counselling Psychologist, including the curious, open-minded and non-judgemental stance as a helping professional, empathetic understanding of people’s stories, and self-reflexivity during therapeutic collaboration.

The first section of the portfolio is the doctoral dissertation: The lived experience of European banking professionals facing Brexit - a qualitative study. This interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) study represented one of the first to give London-based European banking professionals a platform to explore their lived experiences and sense-making process of Brexit. These eight participants did not vote to decide their future in the UK (i.e., the EU Referendum and the Brexit outcomes were out of their control), yet they had to live with the consequences. IPA’s focus on subjectivity, diversity and variability of idiographic experiences resonates with Counselling Psychology’s ‘between-ness’ and ‘openness’ with regard to respecting differences and subjective experiences. Moreover, many elements of the IPA research process, such as the researcher’s integral role (e.g., the researcher-participant interaction), introspection and reflexivity, mirror a collaborative therapeutic process.

The second part of this portfolio is a clinical case study: “Where is your water level?" – using narrative therapy to support people living with HIV. This case presents a twelve-session Narrative Therapy (NT) work with a HIV-positive person who was in the process of making sense of their complex life experiences. Living with a chronic condition (like HIV) and trying to find meanings in traumatic life events can be challenging and render one to feel out of control. Using a NT approach in HIV counselling gives people a safe, non-judgemental space for their full disclosure and to see their life differently, which can also be an empowering experience. Thus, this case study represents one way of working through the complexity and the multi-layered and inter-related nature of past and present issues that many people living with HIV might face, by using a personalised ‘water-level’ analogy. Last but not least, this case study demonstrates the importance of the therapeutic alliance in exploring the breadth and depth of these issues.

The final part of this portfolio is a publishable journal article: The lived experiences of European banking professionals facing Brexit - – an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) study. This article focuses on selected subthemes of the doctoral dissertation, with the aim of being published in the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling and thereby presented according to its guidelines.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2021 10:17
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/25929
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