A qualitative study of the experiences of moving on from a non-residential Democratic Therapeutic Community

Hewitson, Nina (2021) A qualitative study of the experiences of moving on from a non-residential Democratic Therapeutic Community. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This thesis explores experiences of stigma towards individuals with a diagnosis Borderline Personality Disorder and consider approaches to mitigate this. It examined the experiences of individuals with difficulties that can be understood as personality disorders who had attended a Democratic Therapeutic Community, focusing on what factors helped and or hindered the maintenance of the positive therapeutic changes achieved during DTC treatment. A narrative literature review was conducted with the aim of exploring the existing literature relating to stigma and prejudice towards people with a diagnosis of BPD, focusing on how mental health professionals think about and behave towards individuals with this diagnosis and the clinical implications of these attitudes and behaviours. The Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTMF) was discussed as an alternative to psychiatric diagnosis. A qualitative research study aimed to understand the medium-term factors that helped or hindered the maintenance and continuation of positive change after the end of day DTC treatment. It examined the experiences of individuals who had completed day DTC programmes and the subsequent follow-on group between six months to two years prior to taking part in the research, who felt they had an overall beneficial experience in the DTC. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) analysis was used. Six participants completed one-to-one semistructured interviews. Four superordinate themes emerged: An Atmosphere of Belonging, Hope versus Struggle, Support, and Empowerment though Understanding. This study was the first to explore the experiences of individuals following discharge from non-residential day DTCs.

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Thesis (PhD)
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10 Nov 2021 10:30
Last Modified:
27 Apr 2024 00:08