Volume 4, Article 4
International Journal of Stress Prevention and Wellbeing, Volume 4, Article
Wellbeing Matters in IAPT Practitioners: Identity vs System
Kathryn Harper, Dr Gita Bhutani, Dr Amra Saleem Rao, & Jeremy Clarke
Harper, K., Bhutani, G., Rao, A. S., and Clarke J. (2020). ‘Wellbeing Matters in IAPT Practitioners: Identity vs System.’ International Journal of Stress Prevention and Wellbeing, 4, 4, 1-12. https://www.stressprevention.net/volume/volume-4-2020/volume-4-article-4/
Processing dates: Submitted: 28 February 2020; Re-submitted: 31 July 2020; Accepted: 10 August 2020: Published: 18 November 2020
Kathryn Harper is a trainee clinical psychologist at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Preston, UK
Dr. Gita Bhutani is Associate Director for Psychological Professions, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Chair of the Psychological Professions Network North West, and
Honorary Research Fellow, University of Liverpool
Dr. Amra Saleem Rao is Chair of BPS Leadership AND Management Faculty, Co-Chair of DCP/New Savoy Workforce Wellbeing Initiative, and Director of
Jeremy Clarke is Co-Chair, BPS/New Savoy Workforce Wellbeing Initiative, Research Associate, CPNSS, LSE, Former National Professional Adviser, IAPT (2008-2013),
London School of Economics and Political Science, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, NHS City and Hackney Specialist Psychotherapy Services, East London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
Background/Aims/Objectives: The importance of wellbeing has been well documented in recent years. This study explored the professional identity and wellbeing of psychological professionals working within Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services.
Methods/Methodology: An annual measure of staff wellbeing for psychological professionals was disseminated to a range of professional networks by the New Savoy Partnership (NSP) and British Psychological Society (BPS) between 2014 and 2018. The online survey encouraged quantitative and qualitative responses in addition to demographic and professional details. This study focuses on analysing the qualitative responses (n = 1543 across the five years).
Results: Thematic analysis revealed common themes across perceived identities in regards to the professional (desired and achievable) and the patient. The data explores how these identities align with the workplace system and the impact that agreement and conflict has upon wellbeing. Professionals have identified both barriers and protective factors which would support their professional identity and wellbeing. Changes across the five years have been examined. The ability to achieve our desired professional identity in the workplace has an effect on health and wellbeing.
Discussion: Current workplace systems could be utilised to improve the balance between the desired and achieved professional identity and health and wellbeing. Change across the years demonstrates the impact of systemic and corporate decision making.
Conclusion: Wellbeing was poor resulting from continuing identity, systemic and economic pressures. Wellbeing improved through enhanced clinical supervision and the prioritisation of personal identity. Future plans should include the development of training opportunities and a review of IAPT’s systematic design.
Key words: Professional Wellbeing & Identity, IAPT, Qualitative, Perceptions