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The Making of Psychological Therapists: Towards a Psychosocial Understanding of IAPT Training, Culture and Practices

Hutten, Rebecca (2018) The Making of Psychological Therapists: Towards a Psychosocial Understanding of IAPT Training, Culture and Practices. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

[img] Text (PhD Thesis)
Hutten 060235936 PhD Nov 2018 final for White Rose Online.pdf
Restricted until 28 November 2020.

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The UK government’s IAPT programme has introduced new roles, therapeutic practices and interventions, within primary care mental health. An expanding workforce of Psychological Well-being Practitioners (PWP) and high intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapists (HIT) has been recruited and trained since 2008, amidst controversy over policy aims, implementation and service delivery models. For this new workforce to be effective and sustainable, the psychosocial and organisational dynamics that surround the work and training system need to be better understood. Strong staff and public expectations, competing ideologies and professional claims all affect how practitioners deliver patient care. Similarly, a complex ecology of practices exists in each local setting, which makes demands of practitioners’ organisational, interpersonal and clinical skills and resilience. This study explores how practitioners manage the transition into role during and after training, the dilemmas they face in practice, and their changing identifications over time. It takes a longitudinal and holistic perspective on both PWP and HIT journeys through the IAPT system, drawing on psychoanalytically-informed classroom-based observations, practitioner narratives and staff interviews and using a range of in-depth analytic methods. By focusing on contributions from governmentality theory, sociology of the professions, theories of practice, psychosocial studies and applied psychoanalysis, the thesis shows connections and tensions between the discourse of evidence-based policy, New Public Management and practitioner experience. This contrasts with the atheoretical and instrumental tendency seen in Health Services’ Research. It shows unequivocally that the professional status of IAPT roles, is insecure. PWPs and HITs have an organisational, rather than occupational identity and share characteristics with historical semi-professions, in their strong collective beliefs and sense of having ‘legitimate aspirations denied.’ IAPT’s distinctive culture of practice and the feelings evoked by high volume, low intensity work, have consequences for individuals’ commitment and ability to stay in role, and for the services’ future sustainability.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: psychological therapy; psychotherapists; well-being practitioners; cognitive behavioural therapists; trainees; role transition; role sustainability; primary care mental health; CBT; IAPT; workforce development; professional identity; professionalism; clinical dilemmas; psychosocial; qualitative longitudinal research; occupational ethnography; ecologies of practice; organizational anxiety; applied psychoanalysis; emotional labour; voice-centred relational analysis; I-Poems; free association narrative; sociology of professions; governmentality.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Rebecca Hutten
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2018 08:42
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2018 08:42
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22187

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