Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training
The authors investigated the experiences related to becoming psychotherapists for 5 counseling psychology doctoral trainees in their first prepracticum course. Qualitative analyses of weekly journals indicated that trainees discussed challenges related to becoming psychotherapists (e.g., being self-critical, having troubling reactions to clients, learning to use helping skills), gains made during the semester related to becoming psychotherapists (e.g., using helping skills more effectively, becoming less self-critical, being able to connect with clients), as well as experiences in supervision and activities that helped them cope with their anxieties. Results are discussed in 5 broad areas: feelings about self in role of psychotherapist, awareness of reactions to clients, learning and using helping skills, reactions to supervision, and experiences that fostered growth. Implications for training and research are provided.