OF PERSONAL THERAPY
IN THE UNITED STATES
John C. Norcross & James D. Guy
The vast majority of mental health professionals in the United States, independent of their professional discipline, have undergone personal treatment. Female, married, and insight-oriented therapists are most likely to seek therapy for themselves; behavior therapists and academics the least frequently and for the shortest duration. Psychotherapists have typically received personal treatment on several occasions; two or three discrete episodes tend to be the rule. A return to personal therapy following completion of formal training is also the norm. Personal therapy is routinely individual in format and private practice in location.
In what follows we detail these conclusions by reviewing the results of multiple studies conducted on the personal therapy experiences of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and other mental health professionals practicing in the United States of America. Chapter 14 considers the prevalence and parameters of personal therapy among mental health professionals around the world.
The data considered in this brief chapter are drawn from a series of published studies, all predicated on self-report. Every study employed a questionnaire or survey methodology, without independent verification of the veracity or accuracy of the self-reports. The studies are illustrative, not exhaustive, in scope. The response rates varied considerably, but it is safe to conclude that generally one-half of the number of potential professionals