Counselling without boundaries
A thematic analysis of counsellors’ experience of unconventional boundaries in the Hestia Overnight Hotel Counselling Service for survivors of the Grenfell Fire
Hestia’s Overnight Hotel Counselling Service for survivors of the Grenfell fire was set up in response to a disaster and therefore most of the ‘normal rules’ of counselling boundaries could not apply. There is a gap in the literature regarding counselling in times of disasters and the ethical dilemmas that come with it. The deficit on this issue is especially great in the UK.
Using a thematic analysis, this study explores how nine counsellors experienced working within unconventional counselling boundaries in this service.
Findings indicate that the challenges encountered, and outcomes experienced, fostered a questioning of many of the rules assumed about counselling and psychotherapy especially regarding boundaries. Furthermore, they seem to validate the common factors’ view on the importance of the therapeutic relationship for successful outcomes, even within an unconventional framework.
The study raises some questions for counselling and psychotherapy practice, training, and research such as preparedness for disaster counselling, diversity in service provision, and developing further the concept of community counselling by a community of counsellors with a community of clients in community settings.
Copyright (c) 2023 Rita Edah
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.