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

Service user experiences of clinical psychology within an adult mental health service: an IPA study

Diane Beattie (Department of Clinical Psychology, HSE Kildare/West Wicklow, Naas, Ireland)
Síle Murphy (Department of Clinical Psychology, HSE Kildare/West Wicklow, Naas, Ireland)
John Burke (University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)
Hester O’Connor (Department of Clinical Psychology, HSE Kildare/West Wicklow, Naas, Ireland)
Sarah Jamieson (Department of Clinical Psychology, HSE Kildare/West Wicklow, Naas, Ireland)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 23 August 2019

Issue publication date: 12 September 2019

Downloads
188

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper, a qualitative study, is to explore service users’ experiences of attending clinical psychology within a public community adult mental health service.

Design/methodology/approach

Six individuals who had completed at least 16 sessions of psychotherapy participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Findings

The results showed the following overarching domains: the relationship and its impacts, structure and focus, and participant factors – timing/readiness. The importance of the use of language was also identified. Participants appeared to value a sense of humanity within the relationship. Interestingly, the personal impact of therapy as perceived by the participants was not focussed on symptom reduction, but on broader changes. The results are discussed in relation to the relevant literature.

Practical implications

Suggested principles for practice include maintaining attentiveness to relational factors, to client factors such as readiness for change and to the use of structure and flexibility. The use of recovery focussed and alliance measures are recommended.

Originality/value

For clinical psychologists providing psychotherapy within the public system, there are valuable lessons we can learn from asking the service users directly about their experiences, in terms of focussing on the human element of the relationship, and striking a balance between professionalism and humanity.

Keywords

Citation

Beattie, D., Murphy, S., Burke, J., O’Connor, H. and Jamieson, S. (2019), "Service user experiences of clinical psychology within an adult mental health service: an IPA study", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 171-182. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-02-2018-0005

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited