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Exploring the Contribution of Personal Qualities to the Personal and Professional Development of Trainee Sport Psychology Practitioners’ Within the Individuation Process

Authors
  • Verner, Daryl
  • Chandler, Charlotte
  • Clarke, Philip
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physical Culture and Sport. Studies and Research
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Nov 26, 2021
Volume
92
Issue
1
Pages
43–54
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/pcssr-2021-0024
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Since the person behind the practitioner has been recognised as a core foundation of professional practice in sport psychology, research attention has diffused to focus on navigating the ‘rocky road’ towards individuation. As such, this study extended the literature by illuminating the importance of developing personal qualities during the embryonic stages of supervised experience (SE) in sport psychology to help support the individuation process occurring throughout the training journey. Specifically, the aim of the current study was to explore the contribution of personal qualities to the personal and professional development of trainee sport psychology practitioners, within the individuation process. Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with probationary sport and exercise scientists (psychology) working in a range of elite and professional sports (i.e., premier league football, rugby league, golf, gymnastics, swimming, and several other Olympic sports). The interview schedule was refined following a pilot study. Interview transcripts were content analysed and trustworthiness criteria applied. Interpretative phenomenological analysis identified three main superordinate themes, labelled ‘self-development of personal qualities’, ‘facilitators of supervisee individuation’, and ‘initial consulting experiences of practitioners’. This study extends the literature by illuminating the importance of developing personal qualities during the embryonic stages of SE to help support the individuation process occurring throughout the training journey, thus better preparing sport psychologist’s for self-governed practice once accredited. Considerations are given in relation to how sport psychology education and training programmes could aid the individuation process via the development of personal qualities.

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