To read this content please select one of the options below:

A survey of therapists’ experience of ending therapy with people with intellectual disabilities

Yasmine Dunn (School of Social Sciences Humanities and Law, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK)
S.J. (Ash) Summers (School of Social Sciences Humanities and Law, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK)
Dave Dagnan (Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 21 July 2023

Issue publication date: 8 November 2023

60

Abstract

Purpose

A range of adaptations and therapy processes have been explored in relation to therapy with people with intellectual disabilities; however, there remain a few areas of therapy practice that have not yet been considered in depth. This study aims to report the results of an online survey of the practice of therapists working with people with intellectual disabilities in managing endings in therapy.

Design/methodology/approach

Thirty-one therapists working with people with intellectual disabilities responded to an online survey. The data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

Findings

Three superordinate themes were identified: Theme 1 was “preparing for a therapeutic ending” with subordinate themes of “planning early”, “providing boundaries” and “validating feelings”; Theme 2 was “providing a therapeutic ending”, with subordinate themes of “a collaborative decision” and “fostering growth”; and the third theme was “post-ending issues” in which participants acknowledged a “spectrum of emotion”, and, in the case of difficult endings, a sense of “unfinished business”.

Originality/value

This is the first systematic exploration of therapy endings as described by therapists working with people with intellectual disabilities. The authors discuss implications for practice and further areas of research.

Keywords

Citation

Dunn, Y., Summers, S.J.(A). and Dagnan, D. (2023), "A survey of therapists’ experience of ending therapy with people with intellectual disabilities", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 262-272. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-04-2023-0012

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles