Systemic Consultations in Intellectual Disability Services: Experiences of Care Staff
This research used interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology to explore the experiences of care staff who attended systemic consultations within an Intellectual Disability (ID) service. A systematic literature review revealed limited research in the area of systemic approaches used with people with IDs and their networks. Research questions encompassed ‘How do care staff experience systemic consultations that they have attended in ID services?’, ‘What do care staff find helpful in systemic consultations?’, and, ‘What do care staff find unhelpful in systemic consultations?’. Seven participants were interviewed, and interview data was transcribed and analysed using IPA. Five superordinate themes emerged; ‘Not knowing what to expect; it was something different’, ‘Our relationships improved’, ‘An outside person shone a new light enabling us to think and work differently’, ‘Making sense of what we have achieved’, and ‘They made us feel validated’. The research findings highlighted important clinical implications. These included a need for the context to be ‘warmed’ and relational reflexivity (Bunham, 2005) to be applied in order to help care staff prepare for systemic consultations and feel supported. Future research directions are also discussed in order to develop the evidence-base for systemic approaches within ID services.