Psychotherapists' perspectives on treating themselves and their clients for psychic distress

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Investigated the processes of change that psychotherapists report using to help clients overcome psychic distress and the processes therapists report using to overcome their own distress. 299 psychotherapists (mean age 45.4 yrs) responded to either the therapist-treat-client or therapist-treat-self form of the Processes of Change Questionnaire. Results indicate that change processes used for treating clients varied in frequency as a function of the S's orientation. In contrast, there were no discernable differences on any of the change processes for self-change among Ss of diverse persuasions. Findings suggest that psychotherapists recommend medication and facilitative relationships more frequently for clients than for themselves, but they favor counterconditioning, self-liberation, and stimulus control more for themselves than for their clients. It is suggested that (a) therapists may assume that they are healthier than their clients, (b) therapists may believe change processes good for the patient are not necessarily good for the practitioner, and/or (c) salient differences exist between change processes under therapist control and those under self-control. (43 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1983 American Psychological Association.

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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice