Risky business or safety net? Trainee perceptions of personal therapy: A qualitative thematic analysis
Moller, N. P. , Timms, J. and Alilovic, K. (2009) Risky business or safety net? Trainee perceptions of personal therapy: A qualitative thematic analysis. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 11 (4). pp. 369-384. ISSN 1364-2537
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642530903444803
Participation in personal therapy during training is required by British accreditation bodies for counselling psychology as well as by most psychotherapy trainings. By contrast, trainee clinical psychologists are not required to undertake personal therapy, although they may elect to. Prior research in Britain and the US suggests that practitioners have a wide range of motives for entering therapy as well as motives for not doing so (Norcross & Connor, 2005). This study addresses the fact that no research to date has specifically explored what individuals beginning their counselling psychology, clinical psychology and counselling training think and feel about participation in personal therapy during training. Data from open-ended questionnaires was analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Two main themes were identified. These consisted of: ‘Personal therapy helps me to be a better practitioner’, and ‘Personal therapy costs me’. The study results are considered in light of the limited prior research and recommendations for training are made.
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