Have you ever been flustered, excited or unsettled by a client’s name? What difference might it make to you if your client is called, Cleopatra or Anthony, Freud or Rogers, Tom or Jerry, Angel or Lucifer? Would a client by any other name be just as sweet? What known or unknown influences might names have on the way you approach therapy?

I am conducting some research as part of the third year of my MSc in Therapeutic Counselling at the University of Greenwich. Part of my study focuses on counsellors’ experiences of their responses to clients’ names and their awareness of the extent to which associated thoughts and feelings might impact the therapeutic relationship.

The heuristic research model I am using is qualitative, seeking comprehensive depictions or descriptions of your experience of clients’ names, and names clients refer to during therapy, so that I can explore how participants might come to attach meaning to these.

Through your participation as a co-researcher, I hope to understand the essence of names as it reveals itself in your experience, that is, to hear and know your story about what impact names have on you. You will be asked to recall specific episodes or events in your practice in which you experienced the phenomenon being investigated.
To explore these experiences, I will conduct 1:2:1 semi-structured interviews lasting between 55-90 minutes. Interviews will take place at the University of Greenwich and will be confidential. Interview data will be anonymous and secure. The interview will be audio-recorded and transcribed.

This research project has been given ethical approval by the Psychology and Counselling Departmental Research Ethics Committee.

If you are either a trainee or qualified counsellor and keen to take part, or require further information, please contact me, Nina Gill, via email: ng5710w@greenwich.ac.uk.

Thank you for your kind attention.
Nina Gill