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Exploring Clients and Therapists Experiences of Trauma-Focused Therapies

Townshend, Annie Elizabeth


Annie Elizabeth Townshend


Paul Walton


This portfolio thesis contains three parts. Part One is a systematic literature review and Part Two is an empirical paper. Together they provide a greater understanding of clients’ and therapists’ experiences of trauma-focused therapies. Part Three forms the appendices.
Part One: A systematic literature review of clients’ experiences of trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT). The review identified 11 papers and completed a narrative synthesis of the qualitative data pertaining to clients’ descriptions of their experiences of TF-CBT. The synthesis constructed five themes. The review highlighted the range of emotions experienced by clients before, during and after TF-CBT. It demonstrated the importance gaining a deeper understanding of clients’ experiences of TF-CBT using qualitative research and highlighted the implications of this understanding for clinical practice.
Part Two: An empirical paper exploring therapists’ experiences of the flash technique (FT). Semi-structured interviews were completed with 15 participants; reflexive thematic analysis was used to develop and make sense of themes identified from the data. The study found that therapists perceived FT to be a useful tool to contain clients’ trauma-related distress and empowered clients to proceed to trauma processing. The study highlighted increased positive affect experienced by therapists implementing FT and the subsequent implications for therapists’ wellbeing.
Part Three: Appendices relating to the systematic literature and empirical paper, including a reflective account of the research and a statement of epistemology.


Townshend, A. E. (2023). Exploring Clients and Therapists Experiences of Trauma-Focused Therapies. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 9, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 15, 2023
Keywords Clinical psychology
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Psychology and Social Work
University of Hull
Award Date Sep 28, 2023


Thesis (9.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2022 Annie Townshend. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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