Working After Loss: How Bereavement Counsellors Experience Returning to Therapeutic Work After the Death of Their Parent
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AbstractDespite increased interest in the impact of external events on counsellors, surprisingly little has been written on counsellor bereavement. To address the research question: How do bereavement counsellors experience therapeutic work after the death of their parent? Interviews were conducted with four bereaved counsellors who reflected on its impact on their work. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Three major themes emerged; how decisions about returning to work were informed by colleagues and supervision; the benefits of returning to work and the use of ‘bracketing’; long-term implications for practice including heightened empathy with clients’ and disclosure of loss. In addition, participants felt they had insufficient guidance regarding fitness to practice. The possible limitations of the study were that self-selection may have introduced an element of bias to the results. These findings support existing literature and also revealed potential gaps in grief and loss training for counsellors and supervisors. A particular training issue for supervisors might be identifying and discussing fitness to practice issues with supervisees. There are also implications for counsellors in terms of the use of self-disclosure in therapy. Suggested further research to explore the use of self-disclosure in greater depth.
CitationIllness, Crisis & Loss, page 105413732110676
DescriptionFrom Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router
History: epub 2021-12-29, issued 2021-12-29
Publication status: Published