A discourse analysis of how Educational Psychologists talk about Trauma-informed Practice

Hopkins, Amy (2021) A discourse analysis of how Educational Psychologists talk about Trauma-informed Practice. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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The legacy of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study has been an increased focus on the impact of trauma and adversity on children and young people’s mental health. The United Kingdom government has pledged to transform the support offered for young people’s mental health through initiatives such as National Health Service (NHS) England trailblazer sites (Department of Health & Department for Education, 2017). Trauma-informed Practice (TiP) emerged as a systemic approach to supporting young people who may have experienced trauma and adversity. Existing literature shows educational settings conceptualise TiP differently and how it is implemented varies across contexts. Despite being key professionals supporting young people and schools, Educational Psychologists’ role and views on TiP have not yet been explored. This study used a social constructionist epistemology to explore how a group of Educational Psychologists talked about TiP. The research aims focused on what social actions were used when talking about TiP and how the group co-constructed what TiP means. A semi-structured focus group was conducted with four Educational Psychologists who had received training in TiP from their Local Authority. All participants were recruited from a single Local Authority, located within an NHS England trailblazer site. The focus group discussion lasted approximately 60 minutes and was audio-recorded and transcribed. Data was analysed using discursive psychology, a form of discourse analysis. Findings suggest EPs’ co-constructed a unique version of TiP by making Extreme Case Formulations which helped perform peripheral social actions (allying and avoiding commitment) and core social actions (committing, disagreeing, promoting the EP role, blaming others and defending TiP). Findings were considered in the context of positioning theory, bioecological model and existing literature. Strengths and limitations of the research approach are discussed alongside key implications for how the Educational Psychology profession move forward with TiP.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology awarded by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with the University of Essex
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology, Edpsych Updates
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Classification of Mental Disorders
Groups & Organisations > Groups/Institutions/Organisations
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Learning & Education > Learning & Education in Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2497

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