Experiences of Workplace Bullying from the Perspectives of Trainee Clinical Psychologists: a Qualitative Study
Brown, Lan Rachel
Research has identified that workplace bullying is a significant problem within healthcare, with healthcare trainees at particular risk. However, there are no studies of workplace bullying within clinical psychology or of trainee clinical psychologists. The aim of the current study was to explore the experiences of workplace bullying from the perspectives of trainee clinical psychologists. Fourteen trainee clinical psychologists were recruited from UK universities and participated in semi-structured telephone interviews. Data was analysed using thematic analysis within a critical realist epistemology. The analysis generated four main themes: workplace bullying ‘activating threat responses’, the process of trainee clinical psychologists ‘making sense of bullying’, ‘difficulties navigating power within the system’ when experiencing and reporting bullying, and ‘finding safety and support’ within and outside of work contexts. The results are considered in relation to existing research, as well as Compassion Focussed Therapy theory and the Power Threat Meaning framework. Clinical implications are recommended at an individual level, within the profession of clinical psychology and for the wider healthcare system.
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