OUTCOMES AND IMPACTS OF THE PSYCHOTHERAPIST'S OWN PSYCHOTHERAPY
A Research Review
DAVID E. ORLINSKY, JOHN C. NORCROSS,
M. HELGE RØNNESTAD, & HADAS WISEMAN
Previously in this book we have documented the extensive and intensive use of personal therapy by psychotherapists of various professional backgrounds and theoretical orientations, both in the United States and in other countries (see chapters 13–16). Now we may ask: “What does all this personal therapy do for psychotherapists?” Do the benefits therapists receive appear to warrant this widespread practice?
The rationale for therapists undergoing therapy is both personal and professional. On the personal side, therapists wish to have the help to live happier lives themselves and in that respect don't differ greatly from their patients. On the professional side, there is a longstanding view held by many authors that personal therapy is a desirable, if not essential, prerequisite for clinical work. In this chapter we shall review research evidence regarding the impact of the psychotherapists' own psychotherapy on their personal lives and their professional development. We shall also broaden the base of prior research by adding new findings from a large international study of psychotherapists.
Over the past decades, a number of published studies reported therapists' ratings of outcomes for their own personal therapy. Although the studies