Exploring how parents make sense of change in parent-child psychotherapy

Journal article


Kenny, M., Hassett, A. and Pae, L. 2017. Exploring how parents make sense of change in parent-child psychotherapy. Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. 16 (1), pp. 73-92. https://doi.org/10.1080/15289168.2016.1248200
AuthorsKenny, M., Hassett, A. and Pae, L.
Abstract

Background: Understanding how change occurs in psychotherapy is imperative in informing clinical practice. Increasing attention has been given to the role that qualitative research could play in enhancing our understanding of therapeutic change. Although quantitative research suggests that parent-child psychotherapy is effective in facilitating change, no research to date has focused on how parents make sense of their change experience.

Methods: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse semi-structured interviews of eight parents who had completed parent-child psychotherapy about their understanding of change.

Results: Five master themes emerged which encapsulated participant’s understanding of change. These included constructing a survivor narrative, the experience of being understood enabling further understanding, adjusting expectations and practising acceptance and feeling empowered to relinquish control. The final theme summarised how despite psychotherapy being conceptualised as a ‘precious’ resource, there was a sense that its limitations could negatively impact participant’s wellbeing.

Conclusions: Meaningful elements of change were identified from the parents’ experience. Findings were discussed in relation to previous research and limitations were examined. Implications for future research included using other qualitative methods to explore client experience. Implications for practice were noted, including enriched understanding of client change experience enabling therapists to provide a more attuned therapy.

Year2017
JournalJournal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
Journal citation16 (1), pp. 73-92
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1528-9168
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/15289168.2016.1248200
Publication dates
Online06 Mar 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Sep 2016
Accepted21 Apr 2016
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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