Expectations and experiences of psychological therapy from the client perspective: a qualitative study

Joanna Brooks, Rachael Bratley, Leigh Jones, Nigel King, Mike Lucock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines how client expectations about psychological therapy compare with subjective experiences of undertaking therapy. We interviewed 10 clients who had recently completed therapy about their expectations and experiences, and thematically analysed data in the template style. Three themes are presented ([1]”I didn't know what I was capable of”; [2] “It's 50% me, 50% her”; [3] “You take your stabilisers off and off you go”) which describe the experience of psychological therapy from the client perspective, and highlight how expectations compared to experiences of therapy, and changed over time. Findings could inform the development of materials to ensure those referred to therapy are well informed and prepared for therapy, potentially promoting improved client experiences and therapy engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Volume49
Issue number3
Early online date24 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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