Exploring how parents make sense of change in parent-child psychotherapy

Kenny, Maeve, Hassett, A. and Pae, L. (2017) Exploring how parents make sense of change in parent-child psychotherapy. Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 16 (1). pp. 73-92. ISSN 1528-9168.

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Background: Understanding how change occurs in psychotherapy is imperative in informing clinical practice. Increasing attention has been given to the role that qualitative research could play in enhancing our understanding of therapeutic change. Although quantitative research suggests that parent-child psychotherapy is effective in facilitating change, no research to date has focused on how parents make sense of their change experience.

Methods: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse semi-structured interviews of eight parents who had completed parent-child psychotherapy about their understanding of change.

Results: Five master themes emerged which encapsulated participant’s understanding of change. These included constructing a survivor narrative, the experience of being understood enabling further understanding, adjusting expectations and practising acceptance and feeling empowered to relinquish control. The final theme summarised how despite psychotherapy being conceptualised as a ‘precious’ resource, there was a sense that its limitations could negatively impact participant’s wellbeing.

Conclusions: Meaningful elements of change were identified from the parents’ experience. Findings were discussed in relation to previous research and limitations were examined. Implications for future research included using other qualitative methods to explore client experience. Implications for practice were noted, including enriched understanding of client change experience enabling therapists to provide a more attuned therapy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0475 Therapeutics. Psychotherapy
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Alex Hassett
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2016 14:26
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2018 08:00
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14768

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