The Person of the Therapist


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About the Book

The techniques of psychotherapy are often given undue emphasis, slighting the importance of the psychotherapist. Research suggests that the same techniques are differently effective when used by equally trained and supervised therapists. Not only are some therapists more effective (irrespective of the type of therapy they practice), but some, because of their personal qualities, may actually harm those with whom they work. This research reflects the vast importance of the personality of the therapist, evoking the question of how a therapist may develop personhood.
Aimed at in-training as well as practicing psychotherapists—social workers, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists—this scholarly exploration of personhood includes various models for classifying the types of psychotherapy and the place of personhood in this context, as well as a review of existing theory and research literature on specific personal therapist variables as they relate to therapy outcome. The role of traditional spirituality in the development of personhood is given particular emphasis.

About the Author(s)

After 18 years as a practicing psychotherapist, Edward W.L. Smith was the founding director of the clinical training for the doctor of psychology program at Georgia Southern University, where he is now professor emeritus. He is the author or editor of several books on psychotherapy.

Bibliographic Details

Edward W.L. Smith

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: references, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1645-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8182-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface: On a Personal Note      1
Chapter 1: A Contextual Note      5
Chapter 2: A Theoretical Note      23
Chapter 3: A Research Note       . 51
Chapter 4: A Philosophical and Spiritual Note      67
Chapter 5: A Note on the Development of Personhood      105
Chapter 6: A Political Note      147
Chapter 7: A Concluding Note      173
References      177
Index      189

Book Reviews & Awards

“thoroughly comprehensive…impressive…an enormous amount of research is integrated here. Thank you, Edward W.L. Smith, for this foundational and comprehensive theoretical work. You have done us a great service. You have moved our understanding of our personhood forward”—International Gestalt Journal.