The Psychotherapist's Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinician Perspectives

By Jesse D. Geller; John C. Norcross et al. | Go to book overview

19
TREATING PSYCHOHERAPISTS
WITH COGNITIVE THERAPY

JUDITH S. BECK & ANDREW C. BUTLER

There is little difference in our cognitive therapy treatment of therapistpatients versus other patients. They have the same range of outpatient psychiatric disorders or psychological problems. They have the same kinds of difficulties at work, at home, and in relationships. They have the same kinds of automatic thoughts in and reactions to current situations. They have the same kinds of dysfunctional beliefs about themselves, their worlds, and other people and display the same kinds of dysfunctional coping strategies. They have the same kinds of strengths and weaknesses. They have the same kinds of goals. Like the others, our therapist-patients have the same kinds of religious, cultural, and racial backgrounds.

Our therapist-patients are male and female, old and young. As mental health professionals—psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors—their average income, education, and social status is higher than the average of our other patients. They comprise between 10% and 30% of our current caseloads and have all kinds of therapeutic orientations. They report that they seek treatment with us because of the extensive research (over 350 outcome studies, Butler & Beck, in press) demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive therapy, dissatisfaction with previous therapy, and/or our personal reputations.

Although our therapist-patients have a small number of stressors unique to their profession (Kaslow, 1986; Sussman, 1995), most of our patients have work-related stressors (which are sometimes considerably more intense than those our therapist-patients experience). Regardless of the specific types of stressors patients experience, our cognitive therapy approach is generally the same.

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