The Personhood of the Therapist  book cover
1st Edition

The Personhood of the Therapist

ISBN 9780789011671
Published January 10, 2001 by Routledge
138 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

You don't have to check your humanity at the office door!

Drawing on the teachings of Virginia Satir, this humane volume is designed to help therapists bring their full selves into the therapeutic relationship. The Personhood of the Therapist examines what happens when a therapist consciously enters the process of healing in an I-Thou relationship with the client. The techniques outlined in this volume will help you develop a greater sense of openness about yourself and your feelings, enabling you to offer clients more effective services.

The Personhood of the Therapist explores the myriad ways in which a therapist's emotional responses and life experiences can contribute to the client's healing. This approach is a dramatic departure from the traditional Freudian ideal of the aloof, unresponsive analyst, but the case studies in this volume will persuade you that it is powerfully effective. In addition to case studies, this thoughtful, compassionate book offers dialogues, personal reminiscences, techniques, and discussions of psychological theory.

The Personhood of the Therapist offers new ideas and fresh perspectives on such life-changing issues as:

  • self-disclosure and self-awareness for therapists
  • ways to respect and foster the full sacredness of the client
  • the different roles of the therapist
  • important new views on transference and countertransference

    It also contains deeply moving accounts of individual experiences, including:
  • how an oncotherapist was affected by her own family's experience with cancer
  • using Integrity Therapy to heal old wounds for a troubled couple, along with the comments of the two clients
  • a therapist's own emotional journey through a troubled marriage and the strange disappearance of her sister The Personhood of the Therapist will help you employ your knowledge about life, not just theories, to offer better services to clients and help you appreciate how clients can enrich your life.

Table of Contents


  • The Personhood of the Therapist: Effect on Systems
  • The Nature of Personhood: An Interview with Jean McClendon
  • Personhood of the Therapist in Couples Therapy: An Integrity Therapy Perspective
  • Toward the Meaning of “The Person of the Therapist”
  • On Satir's Use of Self
  • The Therapist's Many Faces
  • The Protean Therapist: Molding and Remolding Herself
  • The Radical Leap of True Empathy: A Case of Example
  • When Illness Intrudes
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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Barbara Jo Brothers, MSW, BCD, a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, National Association of Social Workers, is in private practice in New Orleans.