Self-care Journeys in Sport Psychology
: Perspectives from Novices to Olympic Practitioners

  • Daniel Martin

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis portfolio provides an overview of a trainee sport and exercise psychologist’s development as a student on the professional doctorate in sport and exercise psychology at the University of Portsmouth from October 2020 to September 2023. The portfolio contains evidence of the trainee’s consultancy, research, continued professional development and reflective practice in meeting the competencies and standards outlined by the Health and Care Professional Council for approved programmes in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
The practice log exhibits the trainee’s work and experience over the last three years across various practice contexts and with diverse client populations. The reflective practice diary presents a snapshot of the trainee’s professional development, covering critical events, meta reflection, and developmental narratives, which range in their focus from core inner reflections to reflections on evolving practice competence. The portfolio contains four consultancy case studies showing how, through time, the trainee developed a congruent philosophy of practice embedded in a pluralistic and person-centred approach. These experiences demonstrate diversity in the implementation of practice models applied from across psychology, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and Family Systems Theory (FST).
The two empirical papers highlight the trainee’s scholarly activity, qualitatively investigating the construct of self-care across neophyte sport and exercise psychology practitioners and providing a longitudinal investigation of self-care for one practitioner attending the Olympic Games. This portfolio concludes with a reflective commentary of the trainee’s development and consideration of their development as a scientist-practitioner.
Date of Award8 Apr 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorRichard Thelwell (Supervisor), Chris Wagstaff (Supervisor) & Alessandro Quartiroli (Supervisor)

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