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Mental health (MH) and caring can be demanding for those directly and indirectly impacted. An under-researched area is that of professionals’ personal experiences of…
Mental health (MH) and caring can be demanding for those directly and indirectly impacted. An under-researched area is that of professionals’ personal experiences of caring for a loved one with MH difficulties. This study aims to provide an in-depth exploration of psychologists’ experiences of caring and its impact on clinical practice.
A total of 11 psychologists with experiences of caring for a loved one with a diagnosed MH condition and/or MH distress participated in semi-structured interviews focused on caring experiences and its impact. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.
Themes identified were as follows: personal and professional roles; the emergence of a carer identity; carer stress and strain; impact on professional practice; and dual positioning.
This study highlighted the knowledge and value of listening to professionals with lived experiences. Their ability to understand stigmatisation through personal caring experiences may facilitate the mitigation of this for vulnerable people attending clinical services.
This research indicates females with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have a diverse clinical presentation compared to males. Furthermore, females with ASD are often…
This research indicates females with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have a diverse clinical presentation compared to males. Furthermore, females with ASD are often diagnosed later and typically experience greater levels of mental health difficulties. Evidence suggests that clinic-based verbal interventions for ASD have limited efficacy; therefore, alternative therapies, such as equine-assisted therapies (EATs), are gaining recognition. The purpose of this study was to directly explore the experiences of females with an ASD who have undertaken EAT.
Five female participants with a diagnosis of ASD were recruited from two equine therapy centres. Participants were aged between 15 and 30 years and undertook semi-structured interviews, which were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.
Three superordinate themes emerged: the difficult experience of the social world, the process of EAT and the emotional impact of horses.
Directly exploring the experiences of females with ASD highlights benefits from engaging therapeutically with horses, building confidence and independence to transferring this into more effective social communication with other people. Offering emotion-focused therapeutic complementary interventions for females with ASD should be forefronted to help remediate the impact of difficult and sometimes traumatic earlier experiences in the social world. This requires increased funding for EAT, combined with larger-scale research projects to evaluate this.