Verena Boshra

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Getting the Feel of Therapy: Understanding Therapists’ Views and Experiences Regarding Social-Emotional Skills in Practice

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Emotions are arguably at the heart of psychotherapy. While clients' emotions have received extensive research attention, outside the realm of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic research, therapists' emotions have largely been neglected. The concept of social-emotional skills describes therapists' ability to be aware of their own and their clients' emotions and then draw on that information to manage those emotions and in turn, the therapeutic interaction. Mrs Boshra explored therapists' views and experiences regarding social-emotional skills in practice through semi-structured interviews with ten practitioners aged 31 to 62. Using thematic analysis, 'The Centrality of Emotions in Therapy' was determined as a meta-theme and this was further organised into four main themes; 'Emotional Principles', 'Emotional Awareness Strategies', 'Emotional Practices', and the 'Learning and Training of Social-Emotional Skills'. Her findings highlighted the importance of adopting an emotion-focussed therapy and she proposed 'The Tree of Therapists' Social-Emotional Interactions' model as a visual representation of the findings.

Dr Shane Harvey
Associate Professor Clifford Van Ommen
Dr Peter Cannon