Being unemployed: an existential understanding a qualitative inquiry

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Callanan, Robbie
Issue Date
MA in Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Examination of the literature associated with unemployment revealed a dearth of information associated with an explication of the experiences of being unemployed from the perspective of the unemployed person. This study undertook to look out from the lens of the unemployed person from the subjectivity of their own experiences, utilising an existential phenomenological approach. Underpinned by existential philosophy and theory, the work utilised an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to carry out the research. In undertaking the work, a homogenous cohort, in keeping with best practice research methodology, was identified and respondents were recruited and subsequently interviewed. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed with resultant data. From this data three super-ordinate themes emerged: Relationship to Self and Others; Limitations and Possibilities; The Humanity of it All. In discussing the results, a number of implications in the arena of psychotherapy were extrapolated at several different levels including the macro, the therapeutic space, and in relation to an integrative approach. The richness and insight gained from the research and the demonstrated results have added to the body of literature relating to psychotherapy.