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An exploration of female clients’ feelings towards their male therapist, their nature and processing in therapy

Pliakou, N (2008) An exploration of female clients’ feelings towards their male therapist, their nature and processing in therapy In: 2008 Joint Conference of the Divisions of Counselling Psychology (BPS & Ireland), 2008-06-20 - 2008-06-21, Dublin, Ireland.

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Objective: Theory and anecdotal evidence have pointed to the significance of female clients’ feelings towards their male therapist. However, there hasn’t been a significant amount of qualitative research on the nature of these feelings, how they are processed in therapy and their relationship, if any, to clients’ relationship with their father, since feelings similar to the ones for the father may be experienced by female clients in therapy particularly in the form of romantic feelings. The aim of this study is to address this lack of research and add to a body of literature that explores female clients’ feelings towards their male therapists and their therapeutic experience, while considering a possible role of the father. Design: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), which aims to capture the individual meaning making whilst acknowledging the interactive interviewing process, is used to address the experiential aspect of these questions. Method: A homogenous sample of six to eight adult women who have been in therapy between one to three years ago is selected from the Guildford and University of Surrey population through advertisements and e-mails. Results: Interviews are analyzed using IPA. Preliminary results point to the romantic nature of some of the feelings clients develop towards their male therapist and to the difficulty in discussing them in therapy. Moreover, the father seems to emerge as a theme in the participants’ narrative. Conclusions: Implications for counselling psychologists’ practice and understanding of female clients’ experience in the here and now and in the therapeutic relationship are discussed, also in combination to pertinent theory and previous research.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Pliakou, N
Date : 2008
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID British Psychological Society,
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:06

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