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Abertay.ac.uk ‘All that stuff I told them’ Ethical considerations for counselling and psychology students required to divulge personal information during.

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Presentation on theme: "Abertay.ac.uk ‘All that stuff I told them’ Ethical considerations for counselling and psychology students required to divulge personal information during."— Presentation transcript:

1 abertay.ac.uk ‘All that stuff I told them’ Ethical considerations for counselling and psychology students required to divulge personal information during training Kate Smith Division of Nursing and Counselling

2 abertay.ac.uk Background Counselling skills training Integration of skills training in to undergraduate programmes E.g. BSc Psychology and Counselling, BSc Mental health nursing, BSc Social work

3 abertay.ac.uk What’s the problem? Changing provision and demographics in counselling skills training – Younger? – Peer group – Non-vocational

4 abertay.ac.uk Impact on students Unique learning environment – Experiential learning – Reflective practice – Personal disclosure

5 abertay.ac.uk Triads client observer(s) counsellor Stress Anxiety Childhood Relationships Work PhobiasDepression Study

6 abertay.ac.uk This study…. Grounded theory 12 participants (2 males, 10 females) BSc Psychology and Counselling year 2 Aged Single cohort Two modules of counselling completed

7 abertay.ac.uk Data collection Semi-structured interviews minutes Questions around – preparation for triads – early training experiences – change over time, and reflections

8 abertay.ac.uk Data analysis Transcription Initial coding and emergence of themes Clustered, and returned to the primary data Verified by consensus

9 abertay.ac.uk Main themes Impact on learning Group dynamics Premature intimacy Consequences of breaches of trust Impact of saying too much Relationships inside/outside class

10 abertay.ac.uk Relationships inside/outside class Managing the boundaries Who I am and how I seem Emotions Communication

11 abertay.ac.uk Impact of saying too much Vulnerability Self-policing for self Self-policing for others Hearing things that are difficult

12 abertay.ac.uk Consequences of breaches of trust Concerns and worries Where breaches may occur Tutor knowledge Maintaining trust

13 abertay.ac.uk Premature intimacy We are different Closeness and intimacy ‘real’ friends or peers? How we interact, re-establishing the rules

14 abertay.ac.uk Group dynamics Investment Addressing within-group problems Group identity Formation of group rules Polarisation

15 abertay.ac.uk Impact on learning Stress and anxiety, particularly at start Withdrawing, sticking with friends, not doing practice Practice vs theory focus – ‘why are we doing this?’ Positivity about the learning environment ‘this is the best course, better than I imagined’

16 abertay.ac.uk Overview Developing a group understanding of boundaries and care Hard going (but worth it) Understanding the learning context (or not) Understanding the risks involved (or not)

17 abertay.ac.uk What can we do about it as tutors Nurture group identity Emphasise the positives while warning about the negatives Tutors must be emotionally available, accessible and aware – safety! Link theory to practice – validate!

18 abertay.ac.uk Responsibility of organizations Gatekeeping course entry, clear information Providing student support (critical incidents?) Primary tutor (early attachment) Attendance

19 abertay.ac.uk Responsibility of students Awareness of, and respect for, boundaries Knowing the what, where and who of disclosure What to do with ‘worry’ Engaging in the course, communicating with peers

20 abertay.ac.uk Future directions Action research study planned to examine experiences of students undergoing similar training (Mental health nurses, and Post- graduate counselling/counselling skills) Development of a ‘best practice’ model for teaching counselling for undergraduates


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