ERIC Number: ED259258
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Becoming a Psychotherapist: Issues of Identity Transformation.
Hart, Anton H.
Becoming a psychotherapist involves more than acquiring skills and knowledge. It involves a change in the way the psychotherapist trainee sees himself. Proponents of most psychotherapeutic modalities acknowledge that a clinician's fundamental clinical tool is his self. The therapist's self is involved in the spontaneous process of psychotherapeutic interaction and in the psychoanalytic concept of empathy. Trainees in psychotherapy must bring together their personal identity and the role of psychotherapist and must resolve the struggle between personal self and therapist self by splitting or by integration. When conceptualizing the development of the psychotherapist's identity, six aspects of that identity may be considered: (1) the unique interaction between the psychotherapist's personal identity and the professional role; (2) the feeling of being a psychotherapist as opposed to the feeling of playing the role of psychotherapist; (3) being or feeling like a therapist in one's day-to-day life; (4) identification with a particular psychotherapeutic figure, theoretical model, or institution; (5) the level of integration of personal identity and the professional role; and (6) the expectations that the psychotherapist has of his work. A better understanding of the identity transformation of psychotherapist trainees will facilitate both the teaching and the learning of psychotherapy. (NRB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Boston, MA, March 21-24, 1985).