The representation of the concept of personal growth by counselling psychologists: a longitudinal Foucauldian discourse analytic study

Grellier, Brett Paul (2007) The representation of the concept of personal growth by counselling psychologists: a longitudinal Foucauldian discourse analytic study. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

This piece of research investigated representations of the concept of 'Personal Growth' through the discourses that emanated from the talk of three Counselling Psychologists as they moved from their final year of study into chartered status. Previous research in this area has highlighted the confusion between the terms 'Personal Growth' and 'Personal Development' (e.g. Irving and Williams, 1999; Donati and Wafts, 2005). The research and literature looking purely at the 'Personal Growth' dimension is limited to a humanistic framework and in particular Carl Rogers' conceptions of self-actualisation emanating from his person centred approach (Rogers, 1957; Gillon, 2007). In this research a novel longitudinal methodology was applied to Foucauldian Discourse Analysis, with participants taking part in semi-structured interviews at three time points over a one-year period. Eight discourses were identified, four of which related to traditional conceptions of personal growth: Rogerian, Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Developmental and Self- Reflection/Self-Knowledge and four of which were identified as subjugated discourses of personal growth: Postmodern, Discipline, Institutions and Entitlement discourses. The emergence of the subjugated discourses provides an alternative view, which represents 'personal growth' as being relational, contextual and historical, with traditional discourses being implicated in the oppression of already marginalised groups in society. The implications for the training and practice of Counselling Psychologists in terms of the 'personal growth' element are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.516532
Uncontrolled Keywords: counselling; psychology; personal growth; Foucauldian Discourse Analysis; subjugated discourses; traditional discourses
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
Depositing User: Chiara Repetto
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 09:09
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 09:09
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/7635

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