• Lina Efthyvoulou

Student thesis: Doctor of Counselling Psychology


The potential psychological phenomena of a client's subjective experiences are commonly overlooked by clinicians as it is common practice to jump into a diagnosis and a biological explanation (Kaplan,1964). The area of interest was to appreciate and elucidate people's experiences of psychosis and the meaning of these experiences constructed in their published story. The subjective and meaningful experiences of people who experienced psychosis are explored to understand their sense making experiences. I have chosen an inductive explorative qualitative design through the Narrative Analysis approach, and used from the Lieblich holistic-content interpretive model (Lieblich et al., 1998) two different dimensions (content and holistic). Through narrators' stories, I explored the sense making experiences constructed, and the emergent global holistic themes from the four stories. Findings suggest that sense making involves narrators' understandings of distinctive aspects of their lives that eventually lead to meaningful experiences. It was also an ongoing process of increased awareness of searching for the truth. This 'quest' resulted to sense making associated with early adverse experiences (such as developmental trauma), Christian faith (human suffering and love being the key source of meaning) and of spiritual dialogues and growth. Narrators' experience of psychosis was also considered as spiritually hopeful, life changing and enriching in a lot of ways. It also facilitated growth and healing through existential and meaningful awareness of the world around them. The holistic global themes emanated from the analysis of each story, showed the following four themes: 1st Story - Formation and progressive growth of self-identity; 2nd Story - Growth and healing from reconnecting to Jewish cultural and spiritual heritage; 3rd Story - Experiencing madness across a tormenting emotional passageway of altered self, existential and meaningful awareness; 4th Story - Spiritual explanation of human suffering, through faith, proved to be nurturing. I further considered the Counselling Psychology clinical implications, how my findings inform clinical practice with people who experience psychosis and how this new knowledge may be applied to enhance our research and clinical practice to enable professionals offer a meaningful support to restore the human aspect of the experience and provide hope for a positive change and well-being.
Date of Award1 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorTerry Hanley (Supervisor) & Erica Burman (Supervisor)


  • narrative analysis
  • Counselling Psychology
  • humanistic approach
  • qualitative research
  • stories
  • subjective experiences
  • Psychosis
  • first-person accounts

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