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Mutual support processes in a therapeutic community

Loat, Maddy; (2004) Mutual support processes in a therapeutic community. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This descriptive, qualitative study explored individuals' experiences of mutual support whilst being resident in a therapeutic community for people experiencing severe emotional and social difficulties. Mutual support - the joining together of similar individuals to assist one another emotionally, socially or materially - plays a major role within therapeutic communities, where individuals are given the opportunity to share responsibility for understanding the situation they are in and to engage with peers in processing and working through difficulties. Twelve therapeutic community members were interviewed about their experiences of giving and receiving support. The interview data were analysed qualitatively, using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Eight themes were identified which were organised into three higher-order domains relating to participants' experiences of being in the therapeutic community, the process of giving and receiving mutual support, and the impact of mutual support on participants' sense of self and perception of their difficulties. Overall, participants' experiences of mutual support were positive and the findings are discussed in relation to general psychological frameworks. The research has theoretical and clinical implications with regard to informing an understanding of how mutual support processes operate within therapeutic communities and the potential therapeutic impact of mutual support in mental health settings.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Mutual support processes in a therapeutic community
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Health and environmental sciences; Mutual support; Therapeutic communities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099345
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