Intra and Interpersonal Factors in the Use of Personal Therapy by Trainee Clinical Psychologists
Duncan, Amy Crystal
The purpose of personal therapy for psychologists can be understood as a method of personal and professional development (PPD) and/or in terms of help-seeking. This study aims to consider differences in the use of personal therapy among trainee clinical psychologists. It used a cross-sectional, survey design and invited all British trainees to participate. 437 trainees (25% response rate) completed measures on intrapersonal and interpersonal variables, and answered several factual questions pertaining to demographics and clinically relevant experiences. Several trainees reported experiencing childhood abuse. A large proportion had experienced therapy prior to training. These issues were explored. Discriminant analyses demonstrated that attitude to therapy for PPD and psychological flexibility were important predictors of use of personal therapy, as was emotional neglect in childhood. The potential link between difficult early experience and ability to manage internal experience was considered. Therapeutic orientation of trainee, year of training and course support were also important factors in differentiating between groups. Implications for training and PPD were discussed in terms of suggestions for courses and trainees.