Beth Haverkamp

Associate Professor

Relevant Degree Programs

 

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - May 2019)
Vulnerability in the Canadian refugee determination arena : an interpretive description study (2017)

This exploratory study utilized Interpretive Description, an applied qualitative methodology, to investigate the manner in which the concept of vulnerability is currently understood and intervened upon within the refugee determination arena in Canada. Consistent with Interpretive Description, this study generated qualitative data from multiple sources, which were theoretically and purposively selected. Four distinct source groups provided data at different levels of analysis: government documents and qualitative interviews with officials offered insight into the systemic level, key professional informants provided access to the organizational level, recent refugee claimants provided information on the individual level, and the collected documentation of a small number of refugee claims provided examples of particular instances, while providing insight into the refugee determination arena as a whole. In the context of Canadian refugee determination, ‘vulnerability’ refers to factors that impede access to a fair hearing and the risk of retraumatization. This study provides a rich and timely description of aspects of identity and experience that give rise to vulnerability for refugee claimants and the institutional and community-based practices that can exacerbate or mitigate risks for harm. Three key findings can be distilled from this study: vulnerability is conceptualized according to essentialized characteristics of refugee claimants, there is variation between professional conceptualizations of vulnerability, and there are barriers to implementation across the refugee determination arena. I argue that a mis-attribution of harm to the individual/intrapsychic rather than to the systemic domain, a lack of integration of the psychological knowledge base that underpins the concept of vulnerability, and systemic barriers to implementation result in less than optimal protection for refugee claimants.

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Intimate partner relationships and recovery from an eating disorder (2015)

It is well established in the empirical, clinical, and theoretical literatures that close relationships influence adult women’s recovery from an eating disorder (ED), and research has consistently identified intimate partners as key figures in this process. Despite this recognition, very little is known about women’s lived experiences of their intimate partner relationships as a support during recovery, or the meanings they attribute to this experience. The current qualitative study employed a hermeneutic phenomenological method to address this gap in knowledge. The research question guiding this inquiry was: “what is the meaning of lived experience of intimate partner relationships in supporting women’s recovery from an eating disorder?” Ten adult women completed qualitative research interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and a thematic analysis was conducted. Five common themes characterizing the women’s lived experience of the phenomenon of intimate partner relationships supporting recovery were identified: Sense of Safety, Sense of Mutual Commitment, Communication as Facilitative, Intimacy, and Sense of Identity Beyond the Eating Disorder. Significant findings are discussed within the context of existing literature on adult women’s experiences of an ED and recovery. Implications for theory, practice, and research are addressed, and recommendations for future research are identified.

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Substance use counsellors’ understanding and incorporation of ethnocultural diversity factors : an interpretive description (2013)

The objective of this study was to explore how counsellors understand and incorporate ethno-cultural (EC) diversity factors in alcohol and drug (A&D) counselling, in order to glean practical information that may contribute to culturally competent and safe practices. Qualitative interviews within an Interpretive Description (Thorne, 2008) approach were conducted with 23 A&D counsellors, 4 of whom reported serving as both counsellors and supervisors. As per design, additional information rich sources were sought that included interviews with 4 participants identifying as other professionals affiliated with A&D services (program managers, directors and consultants). All participants were affiliated with the Lower Mainland, British Columbia, health authorities. Interviews were analyzed using Miles and Hubermans’ (1994) framework. Counsellors demonstrated varying levels of awareness and positions towards EC differences with conversations ranging from overemphasis on similarities to consideration of EC factors as an ethical and integral part of practice. Participants’ view of “addiction” also seemed to inform how they spoke about the relevance of EC factors in therapy. An integrated approach to A&D care revealed multiple levels of analysis and consideration of clients’ socio-cultural contexts. The addiction as a disease model, however, constructed A&D problems as universal and EC factors as secondary. The A&D organizational context included a discussion of strengths and barriers to provision of services to diverse clients. Perspectives that constructed EC differences as secondary seemed to be accompanied with limited self-reflection and examples of application into practice. On the other hand, reflexive practices embedded within social justice elements pointed to counsellors articulating specific examples of integrating EC factors in therapy. Relevant ethical dimensions as well as implications for practice, theory and research were identified.

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The ethics experiences of eating disorder therapists who have a personal history of an eating disorder : an interpretive description (2012)

The study’s purpose was to explore and understand the professional ethics experiences of eating disorder (ED) therapists with personal ED histories, in order to generate knowledge directly applicable to maximizing such therapists’ safe and ethical practice with ED clients. Using the interpretive description qualitative approach to inquiry, data from interviews with 11 ED therapists with personal ED histories and from 2 first-person, published written accounts were analyzed inductively at manifest and latent content levels. From this emerged a description of the ethical issues and concerns reported (the ‘ethics terrain’), as well as of the interviewees’ experiences of engaging in conversation about the research topic, and their ethical self-reflections and practice changes that occurred over the course of data collection. Additional interpretation of these descriptive findings produced patterns, concepts, and ideas contributing to a more integrative understanding of participants’ ethics experiences that enhanced the clinical applicability of the study’s findings and had direct implications for practice. Among the recommendations directed towards ED-historied therapists, professionals involved in the education and training of such therapists, and the broader EDs field that emerged from this exploratory study were that ED-historied therapists receive early and ongoing training and supervision that addresses the full range of ethical issues likely to be encountered by them when delivering therapy to ED clients, including those associated with their personal ED histories. Particular attention to therapist wellness and self-disclosure practices may be warranted, as these may be associated with early career/early-in-recovery ethical vulnerabilities that could increase risk of harm to ED clients. However, there appear to be significant risks for ED-historied therapists in disclosing their ED histories in professional environments and in discussing related ethical issues. Safe climates that foster ‘positive ethics experiences’ for such therapists may facilitate their engagement with the full range of ethical issues relevant to them so that they can maximize their safe and ethical practice with ED clients.

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Acculturation, perceived discrimination, gender, and psychological distress among South Asian young adults (2010)

Acculturation theories have recently been updated; perceived discrimination is now thought to moderate the relationship between acculturation style and psychological distress (Berry, 2003). This study tested this hypothesis, along with gender differences in acculturation, perceived discrimination, and perceived discrimination as amoderator in the acculturation-distress relationship. It was thought that differences in gender role expectations for South Asian males and females would suggest possible differences in acculturation style. It was also predicted that differential gender based cultural stereotypes would suggest differences in perceived discrimination and its role in the acculturation-distress relationship for South Asian males versus females. Two hundred twenty second generation South Asian young adults completed an online set of questionnaires assessing acculturation, perceived discrimination, and psychological distress. Contrary to the study hypotheses, there were no significant gender differences in acculturation or perceived discrimination. Additionally, results of structural equation modelling found perceived discrimination did not moderate the relationship between acculturation and psychological distress for the sample overall or for males and females separately. Contrary to existing acculturation research, there was also no significant link found between acculturation preferences and psychological distress. However, there was a moderate and statistically significant direct relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological distress. Current acculturation theories may need revision in light of these findings. Additionally, counsellors should consider the possibility that second generation South Asian clients’ therapeutic issues may be tied to racial discrimination as opposed to acculturation or bicultural identity formation.

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Elite athletes' experiences of identity changes during a career-ending injury : an interpretive description (2010)

The purpose of the present study was to investigate patterns of identity change in elite athletes after a career ending injury. A qualitative study examined 9 retired athletes two to five years after their international competitive experience. An interpretive description analysis involved four levels of data analysis. The first level of data analysis identified a pattern of over identification with the elite athlete role and a clear pattern of more balanced identity contrasted with a less balanced identity prior to injury. The second level of analysis described smooth versus ineffective transitions after injury. At a third level of analysis, four factors (internal resources, cognitive coping style, relational connections and continuity with sport) emerged and were associated with smooth versus ineffective/turbulent retirement experiences. Finally, at the fourth level of analysis the study found four identity styles. These four styles (termed balanced identity, lost identity, intensification of identity and living for sport identity) are congruent with descriptions of adolescent identity and suggest that, for some athletes, tasks associated with identity development are delayed until retirement from sport. A pattern of positive adaptation was also identified, indicating that over commitment to an athletic identity does not preclude normative identity development or a positive retirement transition. Athlete autonomy and confidence, as well as relationships with coach, teammates and parents, were associated with the experience of a smooth versus turbulent retirement. Implications for practice are discussed in relation to factors that could promote adaptation in the event of sport injury or sport career termination.

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Lost in translation : an ethnographic study of traditional healers in the Açorean (Azorean) islands of Portugal (2008)

This interdisciplinary research project investigated the process of healing utilized by Açorean Portuguese traditional healers. The purpose was to facilitate an understanding of this process for multicultural counselling practices in North America. The theoretical framework is informed by medical anthropology and the work of Arthur Kleinman (1980, 1987). Kleinman has been called an ethnographer of illness because of his belief that suffering is social and, as such, culturally constructed. He contends that without consideration of the experience of suffering and the social aspects of suffering, health care practitioners face poorer outcomes in treatments (Kleinman, 2005). The current ethnographic study was carried out in the Açorean Islands of Portugal and asked the following research question: How do traditional healers in the Açorean Islands facilitate wellness in people suffering from illness? Illness was defined as the personal experience of physiological and/or psychological disease or distress (Kleinman, 1980). This research contributes to the growing body of knowledge dealing with multicultural counselling as follows: a) it adds knowledge by contributing an in-depth description of Portuguese Açorean traditional healers, which was previously absent from the counselling psychology literature: b) it expands on existing research to further explicate the significance of suffering in the world for Portuguese Açoreans and the role traditional healers play in witnessing this suffering; and c) it highlights the multifaceted impact of language when English speaking counsellors work with second language English speaking clients.

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Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
The lived experience of infant bonding in mothers with mental health and substance use problems in a supportive environment (2015)

Bonding has impacts on both maternal and infant well-being and likely also on future child development; however, our understanding of this phenomenon remains limited, especially among women with mental health and substance use problems. This study explored the lived experience of maternal-infant bonding in postpartum women with substance use and mental health problems. Using a phenomenological research design, 9 women participated in in-depth, unstructured, open-ended interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and data was analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Five common themes characterized the women’s lived experience of the phenomenon maternal-infant bonding: Sense of Transformation, Emotional Experience of Bonding, Sense of Connection, Sense of Nurturance, and Sense of Future. Findings are discussed within the context of existing literature on maternal-infant bonding, both in the general population and among women with mental health and substance use problems. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

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Positive solitude : an examination of individuals who spend frequent time alone (2010)

An abundance of empirical research indicates that individuals who spend frequent time alone are less happy than those who are more socially active (Diener & Seligman, 2002). In mass media and popular culture these individuals are commonly referred to as “Loners.” The current study investigates if some individuals who spend frequent time alone report average or higher than average ratings of happiness despite the contradictory trend in research and the negative loner stereotype. The study also provides an empirical description of the loner construct by examining a group of self-declared loners. Five hundred and thirty eight subjects who reported spending frequent time alone completed the Subjective Happiness Scale, the UCLA Loneliness Scale (3), the Social Phobia Inventory, the E-scale of the EPQR-A, the Preference for Solitude Scale and the Relationship Questionnaire. It was found that unhappiness and poor well-being do not necessarily accompany spending frequent time alone, even for individuals who identify as loners. While the majority of participants who reported spending frequent time alone also reported poor levels of well-being, 21.7% of the study’s entire population as well as 20.6% of self-declared loners within that group reported average or high scores of happiness on the Subjective Happiness Scale. Furthermore, they did not report stereotypical symptoms such as high rates of loneliness or social phobia. In addition to challenging the prevailing loner stereotype, these results raise questions about the generalizability of the established correlation between spending frequent time alone and poor well-being. Theoretically relevant constructs such as loneliness, social phobia and extraversion will be discussed. Attention is called for a deeper and more balanced examination of individuals who spend frequent time alone.

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