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|Title:||Being a Psychotherapist : An Exploration of Therapist Beliefs and Values|
Psychotherapist - Motivating factors
Centre for Human Ecology
|Abstract:||There is a growing understanding that the therapist self enters the therapy process in many ways. A mixed methods study, with a qualitative dominant design, was conceptualized to understand how therapists’ beliefs and values impact therapy practice. Data was collected from 16 practicing psychotherapists using a questionnaire and an indepth interview. Data threw light on therapist motivations for training to be a therapist, factors in choice of theoretical orientation, training, supervision and practice characteristics. Therapists believed personal qualities, interpersonal qualities and cognitive competencies facilitated therapeutic work. Expressing empathy and warmth, being present, attuned, available and steady and providing holding and containment contributed to the therapeutic alliance. Client related beliefs, such as human nature is good, environment plays a role and free will trumps the preordained were central. Recognizing personal limitations and acknowledging they were only facilitators in the process helped them stay focused on their therapeutic role. Believing therapist knowledge and skills were necessary, led them to seek personal therapy and supervision. Therapists’ religious/spiritual beliefs were interwoven with the theoretical orientation; permeated therapeutic techniques, helped make meaning of the therapeutic role, and facilitated personal growth. Acceptance, honesty, compassion, freedom, autonomy and empowerment, excellence, equality, respect, humility and openness to experience were values that guided therapeutic practice. Narratives indicated how cultural factors shaped therapist world-views, thereby impacting psychotherapeutic practice. A grounded theory model that outlined transformational processes that linked the therapist self with therapeutic practice was developed. The study has implications for psychotherapy training, practice, supervision and research.|
|Appears in Collections:||Ph.D.|
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