Item“The shadow escapes from the body like an animal we had been sheltering” - An exploration of the experiences of gay male psychotherapists in relation to their sexuality in and out of the therapy room(Dublin Business School, 2019) Glennon, Scott; Donohue, GráinneHomophobia and heterosexism can often hinder a gay male’s development and developing internalised homophobia can challenge their ability to connect with others. This study attempted to explore the views and experiences of gay male psychotherapists with regards to their sexuality, inside and outside the therapy room. Three gay male psychotherapists were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews. The transcriptions were subsequently analysed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). Three themes emerged: impact of training; otherness; therapist self-disclosure/ unintentional or otherwise. Overall, the study highlighted the impact participants’ sexuality had on their journey through the training process. Light was also cast on how the participants’ otherness played a role within the therapeutic dynamic. Lastly, these findings indicate intricacies relating to unintentional therapist-self disclosure. It is hoped that these findings will bring about discussion and reflection, and in some way help make gay issues more discernible within psychotherapy and counselling training. ItemThe child is alone only in the presence of someone - The role of the ego in the creation of destructive defence mechanisms in young offenders(Dublin Business School, 2019) Conway, Caroline; O'Donnell, SiobáinThe aim of this paper was to explore the role of the ego in the creation of destructive defence mechanisms in young offenders. This was done by using thematic analysis utilising semi-structured interviews. Six participants who have had in the past or are currently working with young people were chosen for the interviews. Through these interviews the area of attachment and the relationship with others became the major themes of this paper. By examining the theory and the responses to the interview questions a clear link between the ego’s defences and early attachment was found. The role of the ego is to protect the infant from harm, this continues into adolescence. ItemMy first known blood relative. A psychotherapeutic exploration of female adoptees who give birth to biological children(Dublin Business School, 2018) O'Kelly, Lynsey; O'Donnell, SiobainResearch studies on adoption fail to consider the female adoptees experience of having their own biological children. Most research on adoption focuses on birth mothers and adoptive mothers in the adoption triad. This research study focused on the lived experience of female adoptees which included the early experiences of the adoptees, the relationships between the adoptees and their adoptive mothers, what occurred when the adoptees had their own children and the adoptees subsequent relationships with their biological children. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse the data gathered from qualitative semi structured interviews. The participants in this study were enabled to discuss their lived experience in an open and non-judgmental environment. The main themes identified were the adoptees experience of being chosen as a baby, how the adoptees felt different growing up and the realisation of meeting their first blood relative when they gave birth. Other themes that emerged were the adoptees experience of empathy and anger for their birth mother and an overprotection towards their own biological children. It was concluded in this study that the experience of female adoptees when they give birth to their own children needs to be researched further and that issues for adoptees do not end when they have their own families. ItemAttachment styles of children in foster care. A phenomenological analysis(Dublin Business School, 2018) McGarrity, Liz; Donohue, GráinneIn September 2017 6,230 children were in care in Ireland. A Staggering 92% of those were in foster care. The Children First National Guidance for Protection and Welfare of Children launched in 2017, provide all citizens and organisations with information on legislative and non-legislative obligations, now in force for professionals and organisations engaged in ensuring the safety and welfare of children in the State. The National Standards for Foster Care ensure that foster care placements are adequately supported and that children in foster care receive the best possible care. The objective of this study is to look at attachment styles of children in foster care and how the foster carer contributes to the reparation of insecure attachment of children in foster care. The study takes a qualitative approach via interpretative phenomenological analysis of the lived experiences of the foster carer. Three foster carers shared their experiences of fostering for this study. Analysis of these experiences enabled themes to emerge which were consistent across the foster carers’ experiences. The themes of language, identity and the impact of attachment highlights how foster carers in this study respond to the impact of the fostering system on the foster children in their care and on themselves and their families. The findings of this study highlight the need for further exploration of attachment styles in fostering. While the foster carers’ experiences were examined in-depth it does not include the foster child’s experiences due to the ethical implications of doing so. Consideration for further research include relationships of foster children with their siblings in care, impact of fostering on the children of foster carers and how the foster care system contributes to the maintenance of insecure attachment styles in foster children. ItemExperiences of therapy for transgender non-conforming individuals: a therapist's perspective(Dublin Business School, 2018) Clarke, Mary; O'Donnell, SiobáinThe purpose of this research was to explore what occurs in the therapeutic space between transgender clients and their therapists from a psychotherapeutic perspective. Although there has been much research into the experiences of transgender clients, there has been less research into the experience and views of the therapist. This qualitative study explored the experiences of five psychotherapists who work with transgender clients. They talk about accompanying their transgender clients on a journey as they emerge into their authentic selves and assisting them in discovering their true identity and their place in the world. Acknowledging their difficulties, the participants talk honestly about moving from nonacceptance of their clients to acceptance as well as their ongoing fears of making mistakes and getting it wrong. They also discussed the rights and wrongs of expecting their clients to educate them as they learn the language and culture of transgenderism.