Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. (Journal File)

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. (Journal File)

Article excerpt

Dlugos, R. F., & Friedlander, M. L. (2001).

Passionately committed psychotherapists: A qualitative study of their experiences Vol. 32(3), 298-304

The authors performed a qualitative study on a group of 12 peer nominated psychotherapists who were known as having a long lasting, high level of commitment. They defined passionate commitment as the characteristic associated with people being invigorated by their work, instead of being drained by it. Diugos and Friedlander discovered common themes for the psychotherapists in their study. Among the common themes were firm boundaries separating professional and personal life, leisure activities outside of the realm of psychotherapy, and a strong sense of spirituality. Other themes mentioned were strong use of supervision and taking on social responsibility. An overall stance influenced by a strong personal, spiritual life seems to be a major factor in developing a balance between maintaining a passionate psychotherapy practice and a personal life.

The qualitative analyses of the psychotherapists' narratives were categorized into four major categories: Balance, Adaptiveness and Openness, Transcendence and Humility, and Intentional Learning. Balance seems to have been achieved primarily by allowing for personal endeavors outside of work including non-professional activities. Moreover, the importance of relaxation, including vacations, tends to be a crucial component of balanced practices. Certainly, a spiritual component of humans is to allow oneself to be cared for in order to care for others. …

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