The importance of personal therapy in the training of mental health professionals began when Freud put forward the belief that personal therapy is the deepest and most non-negotiable part of clinical education. He said: “But where and how is the poor wretch to acquire the ideal qualification which he will need in this profession? The answer is in an analysis of himself, with which his preparation for his future activity begins”.
Freud also suggested that psychotherapists themselves return
periodically to their own therapy without feeling ashamed about it.
Therapists posit that “work with the self”, sheds light on the characters and
personalities of those who are fit and those who are unfit for the profession, and provides trainees with expertise and skills that are necessary to exercise counselling and psychotherapy. The latter premise, emphasises this aspect of training based on the belief that counsellors and counselling psychologists should have attained a significant level of psychological maturation, adjustment, and personal awareness in order to be able to help another person do the same.
The whole journey towards self actualisation through a continuously
growing self-awareness, is believed to be beneficial not only for the counselling psychologisat but for the whole counselling process. In that sense, trainees must learn to distinguish their different feelings, be aware of their beliefs, values, moral principles and their reactions to various stressful situations. Such awareness is necessary if they are to be considered sufficiently trained to exercise their profession.
Some theories see personal therapy as actually therapeutic for specific
symptoms or problems of the trainees, while others believe that its primary role is to correct the limitations and distortions dating back to their prior
development of personality, in order to promote their positive personal
Contact: Dr. Darshan Shah