Aspiring to Become a Therapist: Personal Strengths and Challenges, Influences, Motivations, and Expectations of Future Psychotherapists
Format of Original
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Counselling Psychology Quarterly
Ten female students who were considering therapy as a career path wrote self-reflection papers and were interviewed regarding their career choice. Consensual qualitative research was used to analyze the data. These participants all indicated a passion for helping others, believed in the importance of giving back, and had prior experiences in helping activities. They considered themselves to have personal helping-related strengths (e.g. empathy) as well as challenges (e.g. avoidance of interpersonal conflict), and worried about potential problems they would encounter as therapists (e.g. being too emotionally invested). Participants expressed both other-oriented (e.g. to help others who had similar painful experiences) and self-oriented (e.g. to help self) motivations for wanting to become therapists. Implications for helping undergraduate students reflect about therapy as a career choice are offered.