Perceptions of students with an autism spectrum condition of the value of a cbt intervention to enhance student experience

Holgate, Sally (2013). Perceptions of students with an autism spectrum condition of the value of a cbt intervention to enhance student experience. University of Birmingham. Ed.D.

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This study describes the development and preliminary trialling of a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) intervention to enhance the student experience of six students with an autistic spectrum condition in a British university who were experiencing escalating anxiety. The study was located in a student enabling service setting and involved support workers and career services staff as co-therapists. A personalised student record index based on therapy goals was designed for each participant. This was used to monitor the quality of student experience during the intervention, expose crisis situations that arose and prioritise therapy session content. Interpretative phenomenological analysis findings imply that the first and second year participants perceived the intervention to be particularly effective in raising hope and agency and enhancing self-beliefs and rules for student life. Final year participants, whose anxiety was fuelled by the uncertainty of life beyond university, deemed the intervention helpful in containing their anxiety. Participants’ accounts imply that gains in student experience outweighed experiences of emotional pain in therapy sessions. Metaphor reinforced through drawings seemingly accelerated understanding and application of cognitive models of anxiety and CBT processes. The study culminates with a CBT protocol based on study findings for future research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education


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