OF PERSONAL THERAPY
IN EUROPE AND ELSEWHERE
DAVID E. ORLINSKY, M. HELGE RÛNNESTAD,
ULRIKE WILLUTZKI, HADAS WISEMAN,
JEAN-FRANÇOIS BOTERMANS, AND THE
SPR COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH NETWORK
In their extensive review of the research literature on the personal therapy of psychotherapists, Norcross and Guy (chapter 13) and Norcross and Connor (chapter 15) amply demonstrate two facts: first, that “the vast majority of mental health professionals in the United States have undergone personal treatment”; second, that virtually all of the studies done on this topic to date have focused on American therapists.
Our aim in this chapter is to add an international dimension to this research-based knowledge of personal therapy by drawing on an ongoing study of psychotherapists that has been conducted since 1990 by the Collaborative Research Network of the Society for Psychotherapy (Orlinsky et al., 1999; Orlinsky & Rønnestad, in press). Those resources include information about the characteristics, experiences, and practices of more than 5,000 therapists of diverse professions and various theoretical orientations in over a dozen countries. Part of the information provided by these therapists concerns their experiences of personal therapy.
Before presenting our findings and comparing them with the studies reviewed by Norcross and Guy, a brief description of the methods by which they