How counselling psychologists view their personal therapy

F. Williams, A. Coyle, Evanthia Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


A survey of UK chartered counselling psychologists (N = 192) was carried out to investigate how they viewed their personal therapy. Eighty-four respondents completed questionnaires about their reasons and motivations for therapy, as well as its outcome and process. The results indicated that the majority (88%) were in favour of personal therapy as a training requirement. Most respondents rated the outcome and process of their personal therapy as positive, however 27% also reported some negative effects. A factor analysis of various components of personal therapy indicated that counselling psychologists made a distinction between three factors, i.e. learning about therapy itself, issues arising out of training and dealing with personal issues. Analyses of the data suggested that aims and motivation for therapy were related to dealing with personal issues, whereas these were not important for the other factors. Learning about therapy itself was related to the number of sessions: more specifically, chose who had more than the mandatory 40 sessions rated contributions of their personal therapy co understanding therapeutic relationships and processes more highly than those who had less. Initial sessions may be used by trainees to explore personal issues, leading to a preoccupation with the self, and learning about therapy per se may only occur once this has been dealt with.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-555
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Medical Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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