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Exploring professional and volunteer specific counseling competence in a life review intervention for older persons : a qualitative analysis

Borgmann, T.J. (2015) Exploring professional and volunteer specific counseling competence in a life review intervention for older persons : a qualitative analysis.

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Abstract:The aim of this study is to shed light on the particular techniques that are typical for a volunteer counseling practice in a life review intervention for older adults with mild to moderate depressive symptomatology. While starting from professional techniques used in traditional counseling practice and techniques that are considered relevant to life review interventions in particular, this exploratory case study investigates more broadly the kind of techniques that are used, which are exclusive to the role of the volunteer counselor. The analysis is conducted on the five sessions of a volunteer and an older adult with mild to moderate depressive symptoms, which are undertaken in the context of the life review intervention Dierbare herinneringen. Method. This study concentrates on one participant, the volunteer and the course of events reflected in the five treatment sessions. Each interview is recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed. Within the analysis, two approaches are combined. On the one hand, the transcriptions are examined to explore if and how traditional counseling techniques as they are conceptualized in the LAYD-ACS (Roskam, 2013) are met. On the other hand, fragments, which are not included in the concepts of the LAYD-ACS, are taken into account and categorized into new meaningful themes. These themes demonstrate techniques or skills, which are not necessarily to be found in traditional counseling conducted by a psychotherapist and are therefore unique to the role of the volunteer. Results. 13 out of the 15 relevant themes, which correspond to the concepts of the LAYD-ACS by Roskam (2013) could be found within the five sessions. Concerning the themes not suitable to fit in the concepts of LAYD-ACS, 14 subthemes are found, which could be merged into five main themes: ‘Recognition’, involvement of the self (or personal touch), ‘Intervention context’, ‘Discontinuity’ and ‘Guidance’. The theme ‘Recognition’ accounts for the biggest part of the sessions, as the volunteer stresses presence and listening stance permanently. Conclusion and discussion. Concerning the professional techniques listed in the LAYD-ACS, the volunteer made use of almost all techniques that are relevant to the intervention Dierbare herinneringen, except ‘Mutual trust and partnering’ and ‘Alliance bolstering’ (both from the concept of the therapeutic alliance). Concerning the themes used exclusively by the volunteer, some of them could account for the missing professional themes, as they seem to elicit comparable effects on the therapeutic alliance between volunteer and client.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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