Student's psychotherapist's experience of integration : a descriptive phenomenological inquiry

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Kent, Miriam
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this inquiry was to investigate student counsellors’ experience of psychotherapy integration. No single approach to counselling and therapy is recognised as superior in the training of psychotherapists, and the task of integrating multiple theoretical perspectives into viable models of practice is regarded as one that confronts all students. Accomplishment of the task is a matter for the individual counsellor. A descriptive phenomenological methodology was the framework chosen for the study. Eight trainee counsellors were interviewed using minimally structured, depth interviews. Data were analysed using phenomenological methods. The findings suggest that counselling students espouse a particular theoretical approach to their practice, and make use of other approaches as necessary. No one approach is more effective than another, what is important in terms of effectiveness has little to do with the chosen approach and more to do with the relationship between the client and therapist Possible implications of these findings for the training of counsellors are suggested for example the use of the idea of a post modem epistemology of practice. As well as presenting a variety of theoretical approaches in the classroom, the teaching of some metatheoretical perspectives could be included.