Exploring counselling psychologists’ experience of dual practice
: A grounded theory

  • Natasha Angela Anastasi

Student thesis: PsychD


This study explores counselling psychologists (CoPs) experiences of working in dual practice, defined as simultaneously working in both the public sector, including the National Health Service (NHS), and private sector such as private practice. Adopting a social constructionist approach to grounded theory with a symbolic interactionism theoretical perspective, data were collected through in-depth interviews of nine participants identified as cisgender females from a range of ethnicities and work settings within dual practice. This method enabled exploration of the interactive social processes that influenced CoPs’ experiences within the context of dual practice. The overarching theory that emerged was: The intertwining dance of dual practice: Striving towards sector symbiosis. This consisted of two main categories, Category A: Embodying duality in dual practice: “Wearing two hats” and category B: Navigating dual practice: “Fighting the good fight.” The theory reflects how participants’ accounts presented a negotiation of the differences between sectors that arose from differences within sector protocols, resources influencing frameworks and consequently, ways of working. The navigation of dual practice was expressed as a striving for a symbiosis of roles between sectors. This was characterised by an ideology of dual practice, whereby each sector’s role co-exists with the other. Each sector was perceived to be mutually beneficial of the other. Drawbacks and benefits of each sector were identified. What one sector was perceived to be lacking the other was perceived to provide creating a mutually beneficial endeavour. This provided an opportunity for personal, clinical, professional and philosophical fit within dual practice. The findings provide insight and guidance on how CoPs interact with dual practice experience, identifying how 3 sector differences are negotiated whilst outlining factors that determine its emergence and endurance. The knowledge produced may inform CoPs in training, providing insight into professional practice experiences of dual practice.
Date of Award30 Nov 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorMark Donati (Director of Studies) & Jasmine Childs-Fegredo (Co-Supervisor)


  • Dual practice
  • Symbolic interactionism
  • Constructivist Grounded theory
  • Counselling psychologists working experiences

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