Purpose: Mental health (MH) and caring can be demanding for those directly and indirectly impacted. An under-researched area is that of professionals’ personal experiences of caring for a loved one with MH difficulties. This study aims to provide an in-depth exploration of psychologists’ experiences of caring and its impact on clinical practice. 

Design/methodology/approach: A total of 11 psychologists with experiences of caring for a loved one with a diagnosed MH condition and/or MH distress participated in semi-structured interviews focused on caring experiences and its impact. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. 

Findings: Themes identified were as follows: personal and professional roles; the emergence of a carer identity; carer stress and strain; impact on professional practice; and dual positioning. 

Originality/value: This study highlighted the knowledge and value of listening to professionals with lived experiences. Their ability to understand stigmatisation through personal caring experiences may facilitate the mitigation of this for vulnerable people attending clinical services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Issue number2
Early online date25 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2023


  • Caring/carers
  • Dual positioning
  • Empathy
  • Mental health
  • Psychologist lived experience
  • Stigma


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