Making sense of the experience of anxiety, worry, and spontaneous images. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of interviews with young adults who were using a student counselling service.

Thesis


Kelly-Keogh, J. 2014. Making sense of the experience of anxiety, worry, and spontaneous images. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of interviews with young adults who were using a student counselling service. Thesis Middlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC) Psychology
TitleMaking sense of the experience of anxiety, worry, and spontaneous images. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of interviews with young adults who were using a student counselling service.
AuthorsKelly-Keogh, J.
Abstract

Aim: The aim of the current research is to gain an understanding of the individual experience of anxiety and worry with a particular focus on spontaneous images. In order to do this, the phenomena of spontaneous images, worry and anxiety require clarification. Some history of these phenomena is provided by describing the more researched worry and anxiety and adding the more recent recognition of the experience of spontaneous images. The current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association/APA, 2000) describes a generalised anxiety as a disorder characterized by excessive worry. The new DSM-5 (APA, 2013) also does not acknowledge spontaneous images and their impact on the worrier. The present research is not intended to verify the presence of spontaneous images per se, rather it attempts to explore the lived experience of generalised anxiety and worry and to add another perspective to this age old human characteristic with a specific look at the experience of spontaneous images. In order to do this and allow for these phenomena to unfold, a phenomenological stance on worry, anxiety and spontaneous images is taken. Method: The experience of worry, anxiety and associated spontaneous images was analysed using a qualitative approach namely, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith et al, 2009). Data was collected via a semi-structured interview with eight students aged between 18 and 25 years. The interviews took place in a student counselling service and were audio recorded with appropriate consent. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and the participants given pseudonyms to ensure anonymity. Results and Conclusions: Six master themes emerged from participant’s accounts; self- absorption, awareness of worry and anxiety as all-encompassing, trying to cope with anxiety and worry, the past in the present, consumed by the other, and finally, life with spontaneous images. The findings are then discussed in relation to the relevant literature, and implications for therapeutic practice, methodological limitations and directions for future research are presented.

KeywordsInterpretative Phenomenological Analysis, IPA, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, GAD, Worry, Anxiety, Spontaneous Images
Department namePsychology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Publication dates
Print16 Feb 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Feb 2015
CompletedSep 2014
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Additional information

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

LanguageEnglish
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