Sycamore seeds falling through the air
Falling 4, courtesy of the artist, Neeta Madahar

Beginnings and Endings: A Study of How UK Secondary School-Based Psychodynamic Therapists at Different Stages of Their Careers Approach Initial and Final Phase Practice

The secondary school setting presents unique challenges to both therapist and client, and this study focuses on the particularly complex beginning and the ending phases of school-based therapy. Angie Doran’s hypothesis is that, as casework experience increases, psychodynamic therapists’ practice evolves in order to address the challenges presented during these phases by the adolescent pupil client group and the education setting. An evidence-based understanding of the adjustments made to practice by therapists over time will support the effective work of school-based psychodynamic practitioners and their adolescent clients in the future.

Angie Doran carried out structured interviews with 19 trainee and qualified psychodynamic therapists, focusing on how they conduct the initial and final phases of therapy when working with pupil-clients in secondary schools. From these interviews Angie gathered information on how services are currently delivered to young people and elicited therapists’ opinions about the clinical strategies they use, offering therapists a chance to describe the ‘operational’ techniques they employ in practice.

Author

Angie Doran

Angie Doran

Angie Doran works as a counsellor and psychotherapist for A Space for Creative Learning and Support seeing students and staff. She was the lead researcher on a PhD research project set up by A Space with the University of Essex, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies. She received an MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling with Children and Adolescents from Birkbeck College, University of London.