“Most people think you’re a fruit loop”: Clients’ experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences

Elizabeth C Roxburgh, Rachel Evenden

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences of clients who report anomalous experiences in counselling services so we are better informed about how therapists have responded to such clients. Design. A qualitative approach was taken involving semi-structured interviews and an inductive thematic analysis was conducted on transcripts. Method. Semi-structured face to face interviews were conducted with eight clients who had discussed at least one anomalous experience in counselling. Results. Four themes were derived from participants’ data which were labelled using short participant extracts: “Why are you looking at that airy fairy crap?”, “It was like banging my head against a brick wall”, “It kind of shut the door”, and “Having someone to normalise and say you’re not crazy, you’re not weird”. Conclusions. Findings highlight the importance for clients of finding an open-minded and informed counsellor so they can explore the meaning of the anomalous experience without being ridiculed or pathologised. Implications for both clients and counsellors are discussed in terms of the accessibility of counselling services to meet the needs of diverse clients and the growing field of ‘clinical parapsychology’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Volume16
Issue number3
Early online date18 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

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