Exploring psychological processes in reflective practice groups in acute inpatient wards

PhD Thesis

Collins, A. 2011. Exploring psychological processes in reflective practice groups in acute inpatient wards. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Department of Applied Psychology
AuthorsCollins, A.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Section A consists of a critical review examining the research evidence relating to the effectiveness of reflective practice groups for staff in psychiatric inpatient settings, and the role of psychologically trained practitioners in providing facilitation using psychological formulations.
Section B. The role of applied psychologists working in inpatient services is developing with a greater emphasis on providing support and consultation to staff teams. The research suggests that psychologically trained practitioners who facilitate reflective practice groups using psychological formulations can assist staff in developing a deeper understanding of patients’ difficulties, with the potential for improved treatment outcomes. This study aimed to address some of the gaps in the research by exploring the experiences of acute psychiatric inpatient ward staff attending reflective practice groups facilitated by psychologically trained practitioners. Using semi-structured interviews, nine multidisciplinary staff from four acute wards participated in the study. Grounded theory methodology was applied to investigate how staff experienced, processed, and operationalised psychological knowledge in their clinical practice. The results suggested staff increased their psychological understanding through a process of guided reflection, development of theory-practice links, and validation. This enhanced a capacity for mentalization, which generated a more compassionate and empathic stance. The clinical, theoretical and research implications are presented.
Section C presents a critical appraisal of the research process.

KeywordsHospital psychiatric care; Acute inpatient services; Group psychotherapy; Reflective practice; Applied psychology; Grounded theory study
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Nov 2011
SubmittedMay 2011
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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