Self-care in the age of neoliberalism : an auto-ethnographic exploration by a counsellor.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Counselling
This thesis explores the self-care of a counsellor, myself, in the age of neo-liberalism. The underpinning structure is Dewey’s developmental spiral (1933) that enables me to use the writing of this thesis as a reflective process. This practice consists of reflecting on past experience, exploring and critiquing the influence of neoliberalism as a significant hindrance in maintaining effective self-care. I also deconstruct relevant discursive formations by employing the theoretical approaches that are positioned in the social constructionist arena, and consult the writings of Foucault, De Certeau, Wittgenstein, and other theorists. I revisit personal historical occurrences linking them to societal settings. For this I use auto-ethnography as the methodology, exploring my adoption of early discursive formations and in particular the way I used work as a coping mechanism. For the conceptualisation that describes new constructive ways of being, I use the solution-focused therapeutic approach to overcome the problems of being enmeshed with the discussed hegemonic discourses. The last part of the Dewey’s developmental spiral explores new experiences that have been influenced by the reflective process described earlier. The aim of this thesis is to develop a framework of understanding to advance self-care practices that may also serve as an inspirational tool for others to use in their own unique situations.