Staffordshire University logo
STORE - Staffordshire Online Repository

The Wounded Healer: Personal experiences of mental health difficulties and trauma and their influence on the professional practice of Clinical Psychologists and other therapy professionals

Ryan, Stephanie (2020) The Wounded Healer: Personal experiences of mental health difficulties and trauma and their influence on the professional practice of Clinical Psychologists and other therapy professionals. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

[img] Text
Thesis Porfolio Stephanie Ryan August 20.docx - Submitted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (5MB)
[img] Text (Ethos Agreement)
EThOS Deposit Agreement SR.docx
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (102kB)

Abstract or description

It is generally acknowledged that mental health professionals experience high levels of childhood adversity, trauma and mental health difficulties; however, research into how these experiences may influence professionals in their practice is unclear. Theory and research suggest these experiences can facilitate greater empathy, connection, hope and resilience in practice, but alternatively can increase the professional’s risk of vicarious trauma, negatively impact client work and lead to professional impairment. The subsequent three papers aim to bring clarity to this subject, and aid in the continuing facilitation of an open dialogue about lived experience of mental health difficulties and trauma in mental health professionals.

Paper one reports a literature review examining the relationship between a personal trauma history and vicarious trauma in therapists. In the fourteen-article review, eight studies found a significant relationship between a trauma history and vicarious trauma. The evidence suggests that additional personal and professional factors have a role in this complex relationship. A review of the quality of the evidence demonstrates the need for further definition and validation of vicarious trauma concepts.

Paper two details a piece of empirical research which qualitatively explores perceptions of how personal experiences of trauma and mental health difficulties might influence clinical psychologists in professional practice. Seventeen qualified clinical psychologists participated in interviews and three themes were identified using thematic analysis; (1) Experience as a clinical tool, (2) The interaction of personal and professional, and (3) Secrecy. The clinical implications and limitations of the study are discussed, and suggestions for further research are made.

Paper three presents an executive summary of the empirical paper, written for those who may have an interest in the research, such as clinical psychologists, other mental health professionals, mental health service users and those involved in mental health career education

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2020 15:37
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2020 15:37
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6602

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

DisabledGo Staffordshire University is a recognised   Investor in People. Sustain Staffs
Legal | Freedom of Information | Site Map | Job Vacancies
Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2DE t: +44 (0)1782 294000