The Psychotherapist's Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinician Perspectives

The Psychotherapist's Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinician Perspectives

The Psychotherapist's Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinician Perspectives

The Psychotherapist's Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinician Perspectives

Synopsis

The Psychotherapist's Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinician Perspectiveslifts a curtain that has long shrouded the intimate alliances between therapists and those of their patients who share the same profession. In this unique volume, distinguished contributors explore the multi-faceted nature of the psychotherapy of psychotherapists from "both sides of the couch." The first-person narratives, clinical wisdom, and research findings gathered together in this book offer guidance about providing effective treatments to therapist patients.
Part I presents multiple theoretical positions that justify and guide the work of therapists' therapists. In Part II, eminent therapists write eloquently and intimately about their own experiences as patients. Their personal reflections offer valuable insights about what is healing and educational about psychotherapy. These narratives are followed by several chapters reviewing scientific research on therapists in personal therapy, including the first report of relevant findings from a major international survey of psychotherapists.
In Part III, celebrated therapists from different theoretical orientations offer guidance on conducting therapy with fellow therapists. They reflect on the many challenges, dilemmas, and rewards that arise when two people do the same work. Their chapters offer wisdom and warnings about such issues as power dynamics, boundary maintenance, therapist self-disclosure, the termination process, and the post-termination phase of the relationship. These first-hand accounts are enhanced by research overviews on coducting personal treatment, including a new study of American therapists commissioned for the book. The Psychotherapist's Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinician Perspectivesis an essential resource for practitioners and students of all orientations and disciplines.

Excerpt

More than three-quarters of mental health professionals have undergone personal psychotherapy on at least one occasion. Proportionally speaking, psychotherapists are probably the largest consumers of long-term psychotherapy. Many therapists relate that their own experience in personal treatment has been the single greatest influence on their professional development. Furthermore, research indicates that identifications with their own therapists are a key determinant of the ways in which therapists-intraining understand and apply therapeutic principles.

Yet, until recently, little professional attention and scant empirical research has been devoted to the psychotherapist's personal therapy. Consequently, there is no organized body of knowledge that summarizes what is known about psychotherapy with mental health professionals and that effectively guides the work of “therapist's therapists.” Even less is published about conducting treatment with fellow therapists or the linkages between receiving and conducting psychotherapy. The taboo against open examination of the psychotherapist's own treatment is both revealing and troubling.

This book is designed to realize two primary aims. The first is to synthesize and explicate the accumulated knowledge on psychotherapy with psychotherapists. The second and interrelated aim is to provide clinically tested and empirically grounded assistance to psychotherapists treating fellow therapists, as well as to those clinicians who seek personal treatment themselves.

In this respect, the intended audience for the book is large and diverse. The book is intended as a treatment reference for clinicians, of all profes-

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