''Straddling the contradictions: understanding and conceptualising the role of attachment status in counselling psychologists'' accounts of personal therapy''.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Downloads (Pure)


This paper aims to explore some of the tensions and dilemmas of combining different qualitative methods in a single study. The author presents a sample of results from recent research exploring the role of attachment status in counselling psychologists’ experiences of personal therapy. Participants were interviewed twice: once using Main and Goldwyn’s (1990) Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), coded for reflective function (Fonagy et al, 1998); and subsequently using a semi-structured interview format, analysed via interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), to explore experiences of personal therapy. Meshing results from both sets of data raised a dilemma about whether to foreground interpretations drawing on attachment theory or phenomenological, experience-near descriptions of personal therapy. Drawing on neo-pragmatist philosophies, the author considers how participants’ accounts can be seen to interrogate the professional view that personal therapy is an indispensable part of psychotherapeutic training. The value of retaining a pluralist perspective within qualitative research is recommended. 

© 2011, published by Taylor & Francis. This is an author produced version of a paper published in the European Journal of Psychotherapy & 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)187-211
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2011

Cite this