Browsing by Author "Aberdein, Cindy F."
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- ItemExpectations of couples presenting for therapy(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-12) Aberdein, Cindy F.; Greeff, A. P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Psychology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: International research indicates that understanding couples’ expectations of therapy is beneficial to the therapeutic process. Some of the benefits suggested by this research include improved tailoring of therapy to address couple expectations, contributing to an enhanced therapeutic alliance, persistence with therapy and, ultimately, an improved, positive outcome for relationships and families. In addition to these benefits, one of the identified limitations of this international research is a gap in understanding expectations in diverse contexts. Contexts such as South Africa, with compelling social challenges and limited resources, offer not only a different context from previous research regarding couple expectations, but also demand mental health interventions that have demonstrated efficacy in the face of constrained resources. My study attempts to contribute, in part, to a particular gap in the international research and to make use of an opportunity to contribute to the understudied domain of couple therapy in the South African context. A qualitative approach was chosen to answer the research question regarding what couples expect when presenting for therapy. The research participants were asked to respond to seven open-ended questions in a semi-structured interview. Ten couples from a family therapy centre in the Western Cape province, South Africa shared their expectations of couple therapy. These couples differ from participants in previous research in terms of location, socio-economic status and cultural influences. Data from the interviews were analysed using ATLAS.ti.80 (2017), and the noticing, collecting and thinking (NCT) approach to data analysis (Friese, 2014) was implemented to produce the findings that are presented in this thesis. The findings of my study correspond to international findings in that couples present for therapy with expectations relating to what they expect to do in therapy, the role played by the therapist in the therapeutic process, and the outcome of therapy. In general, couples expected therapy to be helpful, they expected to be active participants in therapy, and they expected the couple therapists to create a supportive environment and to be focused on the couple’s needs. Although the couples expected clarity, they did not expect to resolve all of their concerns in therapy, but rather expected an environment that would facilitate communication and learning. In contrast to previous research findings was an emphasis on personal responsibility, honesty and safety. An unexpected outcome of this study was an apparent mobilisation of hope during the interview process for some of the couples. The substantial overlap of my findings with international findings, despite diverse settings, is of interest, and the differences noted in my findings may present an opportunity for further investigation to support couples and couple therapists in achieving the desired positive relational outcomes of therapy.