Trainee perspectives on their family therapy training
Nel, Pieter W.
Although research into family therapy training is increasing it. has so far mostly focused on the process of the teaching and acquisition of certain concepts and skills. In contrast, the experience of training as family therapists has rarely been investigated. This paper reports on the impact of family therapy training at one training institution in the UK on the personal, relational and professional identities of trainees. Six family therapy trainees were interviewed using semi-structured interviews at regular intervals over a period of approximately twenty months. Interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) was employed to analyse the interviews. The results suggest that participants often found the experience of training as a family therapist overwhelming and de-skilling, but that it nevertheless provoked a re-evaluation of some of their established personal, relational and professional identities. In many cases these re-evaluations seemed to have preceded a process of individuation, of assuming a different or more complex identity.