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Mind the body in therapy! Exploring counselling psychologists’ perceptions of the body and its aspects within a psychotherapeutic context.

Kouloumbri, M and Brown, D (2013) Mind the body in therapy! Exploring counselling psychologists’ perceptions of the body and its aspects within a psychotherapeutic context. In: 2013 Division of Counselling Psychology Annual Conference, 2013-07-12 - 2013-07-13, Cardiff, Wales, UK. (Unpublished)

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Objective: The role and use of the body in psychotherapy is perceived differently by various psychotherapeutic approaches. For example, psychoanalysis expresses both concern and interest in its potential use within the therapeutic relationship whilst the humanistic paradigm acknowledges the body as a channel for communication for both clients and therapists. In existential approaches, the therapeutic relationship has been conceptualised as an embodied experience and the therapist’s body as a relational subjectivity in its own right. Despite its existential and humanistic roots, counselling psychology, as a discipline, lacks reference on the role of body and its meaning in therapy. This study aims to enrich the literature by exploring counselling psychologists’ understanding of the role of the body and its meaning in practice. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five qualified counselling psychologists working in private practice. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: The results of the analysis revealed a number of interesting themes. Participants acknowledged the significance of the body as a valuable source of information within therapy offering a holistic approach in the work of the. Simultaneously, participants identified that therapists’ and clients’ characteristics, therapists’ personal relationship with their bodies and the lack of reference in body-oriented theories in their counselling psychology training appeared to influence their perceptions of the body as well as how and when they use it in therapy. Conclusion: The results of this study highlighted the need for counselling psychology to reconsider the place and meaning of the body and its aspects in therapy and in training to encourage professionals towards a greater involvement with bodily aspects.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors : Kouloumbri, M and Brown, D
Date : 2013
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID Psyhcological Society,
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Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:29
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 13:05

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