International aid workers’ experience of support – an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

PhD thesis


Serning, N. 2011. International aid workers’ experience of support – an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. PhD thesis Middlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC) Psychology
TypePhD thesis
TitleInternational aid workers’ experience of support – an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
AuthorsSerning, N.
Abstract

This dissertation explores the experience of support by international aid workers deploying to, being in and returning from complex emergencies. Seven participants were interviewed using semi structured interviews focusing on the experience of support, and the material was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis - IPA. Three superordinate themes were identified, the first highlighted the ease with which peer support (colleagues and friends around you, family back home et cetera) was often experienced, the second pertained to the difficulty with which formal support (in-organization counselling support, support from management et cetera) was often
experienced, and finally the third superordinate theme detailed the experience of being on mission, where the strongest finding centred on difficulties in the returning home process. Existing literature on international aid workers’ experience of support was utilised in order to shed light on the results, and existential migrant themes also proved useful in order to clarify the material. The clinical significance of the study included a recommendation for awareness building on the difficulty of
coming home from missions, a focus on peer support and also ensuring that counsellors are familiar or have experience of the international aid workers’ situation in the field. The choice of IPA as method was deemed a useful one. Its clear guidelines coupled with a solid methodological
grounding informed both the quality of the interviews as well as the sensitivity and depth of the analysis. Further qualitative research on neighbouring areas and also quantitative research on this area was called for.

KeywordsInterpretative Phenomenological Analysis, IPA, international aid workers, experience of support, existential migrants.
Department namePsychology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Publication dates
Print26 Aug 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Aug 2011
CompletedJun 2011
Output statusPublished
Additional information

Submitted to the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling and Middlesex University Psychology Department in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Existential Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy.

LanguageEnglish
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