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Title: How life experience and personal therapy affect the decision to become a therapist
Authors: Evagelinou, Stavroula - Eleni
Keywords: Personal therapy
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Life experiences and personal therapy may play a definitive role in someone’s life when it comes the time to decide which professional path to follow. Personal therapy has been viewed as an integral part of the professional and personal identity development of a psychotherapist. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of the decision making processes to become a counselor, specifically how life experiences and personal therapy have shaped the motivation to become a therapist over time and the meaning the participants had attached to it. Because of the nature of this topic and the aim to focus on the subjective experience of this issue, Interpretative Phenomenological Approach was considered to be the most appropriate and suitable to explore this topic. Four semi-structured interviews exploring how life experiences and personal therapy have affected the decision of therapists towards this decision were conducted. The analysis revealed three super-ordinate themes; the first theme mainly presents their childhood years that gave birth to an amateur therapist, the in between state on regards to their desire to become therapist, and lastly all factors that contributed to finally take this decision. The second theme focuses in their training period experience, the degree to which this experience influenced their decision and their initial motivations, and the transformational touch of therapy during this process. The third theme embraces their experience while being professional therapists, an experience that reaffirms not only their self and professional identity, but their ongoing faith in psychotherapy as well. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of the present research will be evaluated and suggestions for further research will be outlined.
Appears in Collections:Program in Applied Psychology

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