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Adolescents' Attitudes towards Psychological Therapy

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posted on 2011-11-18, 13:41 authored by Anna Kershaw
The literature review explored adolescents‟ experiences of psychological therapies. Sixteen studies were reviewed and a narrative synthesis found that therapist characteristics, the wider context of mental health and personal feelings were important aspects of the therapeutic encounter for the adolescent population. Synthesis of the evidence was limited by methodological weaknesses. Further research regarding what hinders engagement in therapy and macro-level influences on the therapeutic encounter was suggested. The research study utilised a qualitative, semi-structured interview design to explore adolescents‟ experiences of psychological therapy. The accounts of eight adolescents were analysed using Grounded Theory methodology (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The findings suggested that adolescents‟ attitudes towards psychological therapy were affected in a complex and dynamic manner by their experiences of the therapeutic process, their experiences of the therapist and their views about what others‟ think. The research also suggested that adolescents represent a high risk group for disengagement from psychological therapy. The findings were discussed in the context of existing research and it was suggested that professionals providing psychological therapy should consider taking an active political role in shaping future service developments to enable services to engage better with this client group. Further research exploring whether these findings are more widely generalisable was suggested. A personal account of the researchers‟ reflections on the research process is provided in the critical appraisal.



Bonas, Sheila

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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