It is generally recognized and understood that the therapist, himself or herself, influences the process of therapy, and the personality, beliefs, and charisma of the therapist can be a tool in the therapeutic process. The therapist is the medium through which the theories, methods, and interventions of psychotherapy are filtered, expressed, and delivered to clients. It represents the marriage of the technical with the unique experiences of the individual, including his or her culture, gender, social class, personal values, emotional struggles, and spirituality. The purpose of this entry is to provide a history of the self of the therapist in the helping professions, obstacles to developing the self of therapists, and current strategies for developing therapists’ use of self.

The Role of the Self

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