I am a third-year counselling psychologist in training at the University of Roehampton. For my doctoral research project, I am interested in hearing from qualified practitioners with a history of interpersonal trauma* about their experiences of working with traumatised individuals. I am particularly interested in how practitioners experience working with traumatised clients, the perceived impact these experiences have on the therapeutic encounter and on the practitioner outside of the therapeutic room.

Existing research suggests that all therapeutic work carries the potential of an adverse impact on the therapist. However, trauma work has been proposed to have additional challenges associated with indirect exposure to clients’ traumatic material. The research findings suggest that therapists with a history of trauma, can experience more positive and negative implications as a result of therapeutic engagement with traumatised clients.

However, research findings to-date do not provide any detail about how therapists with a history of trauma experience their work with traumatised individuals. Exploring this topic from a qualitative perspective may bring understanding and depth to what these experiences look like in all their complexities, and how therapists navigate the challenges and rewards of the therapeutic work with traumatised clients. This research is important due to the many “wounded healers” being drawn to psychological disciplines, making shared trauma between client and therapist a frequent commonality.

I am looking for participants who meet the follow criteria:

  • Be currently working in the UK,
  • Have experienced a traumatic interpersonal event prior to starting their psychology training,
  • Be currently seeing clients who have experienced interpersonal trauma,
  • Be a professionally qualified counselling psychologist, clinical psychologist, psychotherapist or counsellor registered or accredited with the BPS, HCPC, BACP and/or UKCP,
  • Be available for an interview, which will last approximately 60-90 mins.
  • Consent to their interview being recorded, transcribed, and anonymised for use within the study.
  • Be willing to provide written, signed consent confirming willingness to participate.

*Defined as emotional abuse and/or neglect, physical abuse and/or neglect, sexual abuse in childhood and/or adulthood.

Please find the participant information sheet attached. If you have any questions or would like some more information, please do not hesitate to contact me, without commitment, via my email address lukanovp@roehampton.ac.uk

Thank you for your time.
Polina