'If that's what I need, it could be what someone else needs.' Exploring the role of attachment and reflective function in counselling psychologists' accounts of how they use personal therapy in clinical practice: a mixed methods study

Rosemary Rizq, Mary Target

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Empirical evidence supporting the inclusion of mandatory training therapy fortherapists is sparse. We present results from a mixed methods study designed tointerrogate how counselling psychologists’ attachment status and levels ofreflective function (RF) intersect with how they experience, recall and describeusing personal therapy in clinical practice. Results suggest that securely-attached, or earned secure participants with ordinary or marked levels of RF used their therapy to manage feelings evoked by difficult or challenging clients. Insecurely attached participants with lower levels of RF found therapy valuable in terms of behavioural modelling, but not in managing complex process issues. Negative case analysis found that high levels of RF may not be uniformly advantageous for therapists. The study concludes with a brief discussion of issues relating to epistemology, validity and reflexivity.

© 2010, published by Taylor & Francis. This is an author produced version of a paper published in the British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-481
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2010

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