Reformulation Letters in Cognitive Analytic Therapy: The practitioner’s experience

Slettevold, Erlend (2021) Reformulation Letters in Cognitive Analytic Therapy: The practitioner’s experience. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Aims: This thesis aims to increase our understanding of therapeutic letters and how these are experienced by clients, but also therapists as part of their training. It contains a systematic review of the evidence base for the impact of therapeutic letters presented to clients at the end of therapy which is followed by an empirical exploration of Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) therapists experience of receiving reformulation letters as part of their training.

Design: This thesis is structured as a portfolio comprised of a narrative systematic review of research on ending letters, a bridging chapter, a qualitative empirical paper on clinicians’ experience of reformulation letters, an extended bridging chapter to introduce concepts used in the empirical paper, an extended methodology for the empirical paper, and an overall discussion of the thesis portfolio.

Findings: The systematic review provides a narrative synthesis of findings in the literature about goodbye letters. The synthesised findings suggests that goodbye letters may impact on how clients deal with endings and how they remember various aspects of the therapy after termination. The empirical paper identified four overarching themes in clinicians’ experiences of receiving reformulation letters as part of their training: The power of the reformulation letter; Inhabiting the client’s role; absorbing thinking as a CAT practitioner; and evolving the therapist’s technique.

Value of this work: Despite the increasing use of therapist-written therapeutic letters in services, there is a lack of empirical research to support their use. This thesis contributes towards the evidence base for therapeutic letters by synthesising existing research on those used around the ending of therapies and exploring the use of reformulation letters with a group (clinicians) where this has not been explored previously.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Jennifer Whitaker
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 13:17
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 13:17


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