1st Edition

On Becoming a Psychotherapist

ISBN 9780415703840
Published March 4, 2014 by Routledge
258 Pages

USD $49.95

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Book Description

Why do people want to become a psychotherapist? How do they translate this desire into reality?

On Becoming a Psychotherapist explores these and related questions. Ten leading therapists write about their profession and their careers, examining how and why they became psychotherapists. The contributors, representing a wide cross-section of their profession, come from both Britain and America, from different theoretical backgrounds, and are at different stages in their careers. They write in a personal and revealing way about their childhoods, families, colleagues, and training. This absorbing and fascinating book offers a fresh perspective on psychotherapy and the people attracted to it.

This Classic Edition of the book includes a new introduction written by the authors and will be invaluable for qualified psychotherapists and those in training.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Classic Edition. Contributors. Preface. Part 1: Introduction. Gilbert, Hughes and Dryden, The Therapist as a Crucial Variable in Psychotherapy. Part 2: The Contributions. Mahoney and Eiseman, The Object of the Dance. Bloomfield, Through Therapy to Self. Thorne, The Blessing and the Curse of Empathy. Heppner, Chance and Choices in Becoming a Therapist. Karp, Living vs. Survival: A psychotherapist’s journey. Strupp, My Career as a Researcher and Psychotherapist. Fransella, A Fight for Freedom. Street, Challenging the ‘White Knight’. Rowan, A Late Developer. Chaplin, Rhythm and Blues. Part 3: Commentaries. Spurling and Dryden, The Self and the Therapeutic Domain. Norcross and Guy, Ten Therapists: The process of becoming and being. Appendix. Author Index. Subject Index.

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Windy Dryden is Professor of Psychotherapeutic Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London and is an international authority on rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT). He has worked in psychotherapy for over 30 years and is the author and editor of over 200 books.

Laurence Spurling is a practising Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in London and a Senior Member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation. He is Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, where he co-ordinates and teaches on the counselling and psychotherapy training programmes, and is a Consultant Adult Psychotherapist for the East London NHS Mental Health Trust. He has published widely on clinical issues.


 'On Becoming a Psychotherapist is a wonderful compilation of very intimate autobiographical essays that serves to shed light on the worlds of therapists. It is a fascinating look into the personal lives of psychotherapists. Psychotherapists that read this book may feel inspired to write their own essay using the format provided by the editors in the appendix of this book. This book has inspired more research in this area upon its original publication in 1989.' –  Mona Zohny, Hunter College, International Journal of Psychotherapy

'In this unique volume seasoned psychotherapists provided candid insights into their own experiences of personal and professional development, giving first hand evidence of the challenges involved in therapeutic self-reflection. Well worth revisiting several decades on.' –  Professor Emmy van Deurzen, Principal NSPC.

 'On Becoming a Psychotherapist still puts flesh on the bones of the truths of psychotherapy and counselling: that we are all Wounded Healers. That it is the person who heals and not the method or technique. That becoming a therapist is a journey as much as a decision. That knowledge easily degenerates into dogmatism. It is quite startling to realise that there are still not many books that show the honesty and transparency that these contributors bring to their chapters.' –  Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex

'Twenty-five years since its original publication this text and the questions it contained in it remain relevant for all practitioners interested in reflecting on the influence of personal material…I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this text and regard it as an essential read and addition to my bookshelf.' – Michelle J Cooke in Private Practice