This article presents a reflective case study, from the perspective of a trainee sport and exercise psychologist, of an applied consultancy experience with a 14-year-old gymnast. The case study highlights a number of applied challenges such as working with a client in an unfamiliar sport, questioning who the client is throughout the consultancy process, adopting a philosophy of practice different from the expectations of the parents, and further difficulties when including parents in the consultancy process. The case study also highlights how challenges to a practitioner’s philosophy of practice can be deeply uncomfortable and lead the practitioner to question his or her approach to service delivery. Although the intervention only lasted 3 sessions, there are a number of observations and lessons to be learned from an applied perspective, such as being aware of countertransference when building relationships with a client and understanding how the dynamics of the consultancy process might change when involving parents.
Nick Wadsworth, Ben Paszkowec and Martin Eubank
This article presents a reflective case study of an applied consultancy experience with a 22-year-old professional rugby league player. The primary aim of the intervention was to provide the client a confidential space where he could discuss his experiences in and outside of a sporting context while also exploring and challenging his core values and beliefs. The consultancy process lasted for 12 mo, leading to the development of a strong relationship. During this time, the client experienced multiple critical moments such as deselection from the first-team squad and contract negotiations, which at times led to reductions in his well-being and forced the trainee sport and exercise psychologist to consider his scope of practice in relation to mental health and depression. Reflections are provided that explore the possibility of referral during these moments. The case study also provides insight into the trainee sport and exercise psychologist’s philosophy of practice and how influential this can be when considering referral of a client. The importance of supervisor support during uncertain moments is highlighted, and the case study concludes with reflections from the client, trainee practitioner, and peer supervisor regarding the efficacy of the intervention and the decision not to refer.