Existential anxiety and unemployed men; a psychotherapeutic exploration

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Sheehan, Jack
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The over-riding aim of this psychotherapeutic study was to explore themes of existential Anxiety present in middle-aged men who have experienced unemployment. Literature relating to the study was firstly reviewed in order to gain a psychotherapeutic understanding of existing knowledge on the topic. A sample of participants was then selected. It was decided that the study would require three men between the ages of forty five and sixty five who had experienced unemployment during this period of their lives. Semi-structured face to face interviews took place with the participants at a time and location that was convenient for them. The interviews were recorded and the data was later transcribed verbatim. Using the method of IPA, the data was then analysed and divided into themes. It became clear that an overall theme of loss was significant for the participants and this was further broken down into three sub themes that had a particularly existential frame of reference - Becoming unemployed; freedom, Being unemployed; isolation, and Overcoming unemployment; meaning. The results and discussion chapters were used to interpret meaning from the participant’s subjective experiences of unemployment. Limitations to the study were later outlined, with suggestions for future research.