• The evaluation of a cognitive behavioural treatment protocol on perfectionism & low self-esteem amongst clients with mood and anxiety disorders : an interpretative phenomenological approach

      Townend, Michael; Brannigan, Chris; Pantelidi, Irene C. (University of DerbyUniversity of Derby, 2015-01-16)
      Perfectionism can be constructed as a trans diagnostic concept that co exists and probably contributes to the onset development and maintenance of a number of Axis 1 disorders. There is also a significant relationship between perfectionism and low self- esteem. There is considerable theoretical debate in the literature concerning whether perfectionism is uni or multi-dimensional with most therapies being based upon uni dimensional conceptualisations and thus overlooking interpersonal factors. This is also reflected in the relative absence of qualitative studies that explore perfectionism from a lived experience perspective. Aims: This study aims to explore the experiences of perfectionism and low self-esteem in different life domains. It also aims to evaluate the client’s experiences and efficacy of a proposed treatment protocol that targets perfectionism from a multidimensional perspective. Method: The study is divided into three phases. A Multiple baseline design is used to evaluate the treatment protocol including cognitive and behavioural interventions, compassionate mind training and assertiveness training to target perfectionism and low self-esteem. Two clinical groups experiencing Axis 1 disorders and high perfectionism are divided amongst the different phases of this study, 13 and 8 participants respectively. Mixed methods are administered to analyse the data with greater emphasis on the qualitative ones. Measures administered include the Beck Depression & Anxiety Inventories; the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale; the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale; the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale by Frost and the Perfectionistic Self Presentation Scale. 8 semi-structured interviews are analysed utilising Interpretative Phenomenological Approach (IPA). Results: from the analysis of data it is evident that perfectionism is a multidimensional construct with strong interpersonal features that affect several different life domains. The proposed treatment protocol appears significantly effective in reducing perfectionism and Axis 1 disorder symptomatology. Additionally, there is a significant increase in self- esteem. Interventions that appear most helpful are behavioural experiments, assertiveness training, compassionate mind training, continuum and positive logging.
    • 'Identity Work’ in the context of organisational change: a Gestalt perspective

      Weller, Paul; Brannigan, Chris; Blom, Susanne (University of DerbyEducation, Health, and Sciences, 2013-11-27)
      The purpose of the thesis is to make a contribution to the development of an empirically informed theory of identity work in organisations on the basis of a gestalt paradigm. Since its emergence almost three quarters of a century ago, gestalt has been applied to therapy, personal development, leadership education and organisational consulting. Gestalt remains, however, fundamentally a paradigm, which preferentially projects onto and deals with complex and dynamic organisational phenomena at individual, dyadic or small group levels. It can be argued that, with its focus on phenomenology and awareness, the gestalt paradigm is predominantly methodological, with only ambiguous or weak links to explicitly articulated epistemology or ontology. A long-term professional, consulting relationship with a trade union branch enabled conducting action research in order to explore the constituents and dynamics of its organisational identity, prior to and following significant change. The subsequent dismantling and closure of the branch demanded an adjustment of research design. The new situation offered a unique opportunity to follow the existentially challenged organisation as its members reacted to and made sense of the closure. The research is contextualised in three analytical clusters: identity and identity work, gestalt paradigm, and trade unions as organisations, institutions and social movements. An ontology of the intersectional field is posited, and on this foundation, four statements, seen as fundamental conditions for identity work, are operationalised through six propositions explicating identity work in a gestalt paradigm perspective. Methodologically, the overall design is informed by a constructivist grounded theory approach, moving abductively - iteratively and even recursively - between inductive and deductive analysis and reflection. The empirical component of the thesis comprises participant observation, field notes, in-depth interviews during and subsequently two years after the closure, and memos. The data proved relevant and informative in terms of identity work in the organisation. The result of the research is a hypothesis about identity work in organisations, firmly anchored in and commensurate with a present-day revised gestalt paradigm, which contribute to a formal development of a gestalt organisational theory. The hypothesis states that: “Identity work in organisations is a dialectical positioning, both individual and collective, between the existential polar opposites of inclusion and exclusion. The processes through which identity work is enacted are cognitive, affective, and conative, instrumentally served by the contact boundary dynamics of egotisming, confluencing, projecting, retroflecting, introjecting, and deflecting. “ The empirical findings are considered robust, and the theory formulation meaningful. Acknowledging the specific circumstances of the study organisation and empirical design, however, a more general application of the hypothesis requires further research in diverse contexts for verification and possibly refinement of the gestalt theoretical concepts at the organisational level. The research results are of interest to gestalt practitioners who teach or work in or with organisations, and equally so for those interested in dynamic process perspectives in which attention shifts - whether at the level of the individual, group, or organisation - from static assessment of reified identity to real-time identity work; from structure to mutual interaction and influence, in order to balance the well-being of the human beings “in” and “profitability” of the organisation.