Understanding professionals' experiences of endings

DClinPsych Thesis

Cowper, C. 2023. Understanding professionals' experiences of endings. DClinPsych Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Institute of Applied Psychology
AuthorsCowper, C.
TypeDClinPsych Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Clinical Psychology

Section A: This literature review explored professionals’ experiences of therapeutic endings. 11 qualitative papers were identified through systematic searches and analysed using thematic synthesis. Findings were grouped into six themes: contextual influences, navigating the ending, emotional responses to ending, protective strategies, learning and reflection and after the ending. Findings emphasised significance of the therapeutic relationship which meant endings could be associated with a range of emotions.Implications for research and practice are considered.

Section B: This project explored social workers’ experiences of endings when working with children looked after (CLA). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight social workers and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results from the data are organised into five group experiential themes: the importance of therelationship, managing the pain of ending, an opportunity to repair past trauma, confidence and trust in the transition and the role of the organisation. Each theme included interrelated subthemes.Findings highlighted participants understood the significance of endings and hoped to provide CLA with good experiences that may be reparative. Contextual challenges could hinder this and resulted in difficult emotions and associated defences. Research and clinical implications are discussed.

KeywordsProfessionals’ experiences; Therapeutic endings
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Deposited05 Sep 2023
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