Exploring the process of attending a reflective practice group during training: A preliminary grounded theory study of qualified clinical psychologists’ experiences

Fairhurst, Alicia (2011) Exploring the process of attending a reflective practice group during training: A preliminary grounded theory study of qualified clinical psychologists’ experiences. D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

Alicia_Fairhurst-MRP-PDF.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (1MB)
[img] Image (JPEG) (Declaration for Major Research Project)
MRP_declaration_Fairhurst_2011.jpeg - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (197kB)


Section A: This section critically considers reflective practice definitions, conceptualisations and implementation within dominant theoretical models. The value and limitations of the favoured method for developing reflective capacities in clinical psychology training, the reflective practice group (RPG), are described. Group theory and the current empirical evidence base for RPGs within counsellor and clinical psychology training are critically considered and future research is suggested.
Section B: This section presents a preliminary grounded theory study of qualified clinical psychologists’ experiences of attending a reflective practice group during training. Reflective practice has become implicit within the clinical psychology profession; there is a lack however of empirical research on the methods through which reflective capacities are developed in trainees. This study aimed to build upon earlier research by Knight et al. (2010), which investigated the impact of reflective practice groups (RPG) whilst training, through further qualitative exploration of the mechanisms of experience related to participants perceiving the RPG as valuable and the role of distressing experiences. Eleven qualified clinical psychologists from a UK training programme who had previously (Knight el al. 2010) been categorised into 1 of 4 factor groups based on level of perceived value and distress (e.g. high value-low distress), took part in semi-structured interviews. Grounded theory methodology informed the data collection and analysis. A preliminary interactional map of experience was constructed from the data and five categories were important in understanding how the groups were perceived as valuable in the context of varying distress levels: ‘negotiating the unknown’; ‘managing emotion’; ‘negotiating the development of self-awareness’; ‘negotiating the reciprocal impact of others’; and ‘reflection-on-reflection’. It was recommended that training programmes should consider: trainee expectations; approach and motivation; the dual-relationships within groups/cohort; and facilitator style in offering RPGs. Recommendations were made for future research to attempt to match trainee personal learning style with appropriate reflective development methods, to build an evidence base for reflective practice methods generally and to establish the benefits of reflection for clinical practice.
Section C: This section presents a critical appraisal of the study undertaken in relation to 4 stipulated questions. Learning outcomes and future research skill development needs are considered, limitations of the study and proposed retrospective changes are highlighted and the impact on practice is considered. Finally suggestions for future research are elaborated upon.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reflective practice, Reflective practice groups, Personal and professional development, Clinical psychology training
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0077 Study and teaching
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0980 Types of education > LC1051 Professional education
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0475 Therapeutics. Psychotherapy
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Users 36 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2011 10:29
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 11:27
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/10326

Actions (login required)

Update Item (CReaTE staff only) Update Item (CReaTE staff only)


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Connect with us

Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00