Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Colin Hollidge

Abstract

Clinical social workers spend years in training and even more time ever refining their professional skill set as they work with clients. Personal therapy is another tool utilized by mental health professionals for personal and professional reasons. An array of research investigates the value of personal therapy for therapists. This study was designed for three reasons: 1) to examine the prevalence of personal therapy in the sample 2) to investigate the effect the practitioners experience of how therapy impacts their professional competence and 3) to evaluate perceptions of the role of personal therapy as a prerequisite to the profession. This researcher surveyed LICSW’s registered to the Minnesota board of social work (N=51).

The findings indicate that personal therapy is prevalent and widely viewed as helpful amongst the participants. The results also show that that LICSW’s found personal therapy to be beneficial for some professional factors as well, including increased self awareness, increased awareness/validation of the therapeutic process, and that it provided a form of self care. Lastly, the findings indicate that while participants overall felt personal therapy would be beneficial for therapists in training, they did not believe it should be required in training programs or for licensure.

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