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“It was like falling off a cliff” An IPA study of the lived experiences of psychotherapists working online during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland

Brennan, Catriona Mary (2023) “It was like falling off a cliff” An IPA study of the lived experiences of psychotherapists working online during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. Doctor of Psychotherapy thesis, Dublin City University.

Objective: To explore the lived experience of psychotherapists working online during COVID 19 in Ireland. Methods: A sample of eight participants were recruited by advertising through professional organisations and social media. Semi-structured interviews via the Zoom platform were used to collect participant accounts of their experience. An IPA approach was used to analyse the data in relation to the phenomenon of working online during the pandemic. This included the researcher making meaning of the participants making meaning of their experiences as well as reflecting on her insider researcher experience of working as a psychotherapistonline during the pandemic. Results: The findings of the study suggest four overarching Group Experiential Themes including, finding a way through the uncertainty, a sense of connection vs disconnection, a sense of loss and isolation and a feeling of surprise that online IT therapy works. The findings of the study are discussed using an existential theoretical lens, drawing on the work of Heidegger and applying Gillies and Neimeyer’s theoretical model of reconstruction of meaning in the face of loss, to the pandemic experience of psychotherapists. Conclusion: Participants' accounts suggest that the experience of working online was both challenging and positive. Working therapeutically online has led to a fresh perspective of online therapy among these practitioners and implications for future policy and practice regarding professional training, and service accessibility have been presented.
Item Type:Thesis (Doctor of Psychotherapy)
Date of Award:November 2023
Supervisor(s):Kiernan, Gemma and Philbin, Mark
Subjects:Medical Sciences > Mental health
Medical Sciences > Psychology
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License. View License
ID Code:28880
Deposited On:07 Nov 2023 11:41 by Gemma Kiernan . Last Modified 07 Nov 2023 11:41

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