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Counsellors' perspectives on self-harm and the role of the therapeutic relationship for working with clients who self-harm

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Long, Maggie and Jenkins, Mary (2010) Counsellors' perspectives on self-harm and the role of the therapeutic relationship for working with clients who self-harm. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 10 (3). pp. 192-200. [Journal article]


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14733140903474293

DOI: 10.1080/14733140903474293


Aims: To gain insight into counsellors’ experiences of and ideas about self-harm, and to develop understanding of relational depth when working with clients who self-harm. Method: A qualitative exploration of counsellors’ perspectives on working with people who self-harm. The research proposal gained approval from the University Ethics Committee. Data were collected from a sample of counsellors who have experience of working with people who self-harm (n8) using tape-recorded interviews. Grounded Theory was used for analysis. Findings: Two major categories emerged from the findings: (i) the activity of self-harm; (ii) the therapeutic relationship with people who self-harm. These categories and sub-categories were integrated to form the core category. Implications: Counsellors have a valuable role to play in the lives of people who self-harm, by embodying confidentiality and so facilitating a sense of trust, by opening minds through acceptance, and by expanding knowledge through participation in research. Conclusions: In order to effectively accompany clients from a life of self-harm to a life of self-healing, counsellors must be aware of and responsive to the many concepts underpinning the emergent categories of the research.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:self-harm; self-injury; counsellor perspective; therapeutic relationship
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Communication
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Social Work & Social Policy
ID Code:17102
Deposited By:Dr Maggie Long
Deposited On:15 Feb 2011 08:03
Last Modified:27 Mar 2013 11:09

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