Therapists' personal therapy

PhD Thesis


Digiuni, M. 2011. Therapists' personal therapy. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Department of Applied Psychology
AuthorsDigiuni, M.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol
Abstract

Section A presents a literature review on the topic of personal therapy for therapists.
Section B presents a cross-national empirical study. Drawing on the theory of planned behaviour, the study explored the influence of subjective norms (social stigma) on clinical psychology students’ attitudes towards seeking personal therapy. A total of 462 students from Argentina (n = 121), England (n = 211), and the US (n = 211) completed a survey on demographic characteristics, well-known predictors of seeking therapy, perceived social stigma for receiving therapy, and attitudes towards seeking therapy. Results revealed significant cross-national differences, with Argentinean students showing the lowest levels of perceived social stigma for receiving therapy (M = 5.02, SD = 1.60), followed by English (M = 4.57, SD = 1.61) and Americans (M = 3.22, SD = 2.35). English students showed significantly less positive attitudes towards seeking therapy (M = 22.60, SD = 2.97) than their Argentinean (M = 24.89, SD = 2.94) and American (M = 24.27, SD = 3.17) counterparts. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that perceived social stigma predicts students’ attitudes towards seeking therapy, even after controlling for the effects of other predictors of therapists’ therapy-seeking behaviours, among English (ß = -.26, p < .001), and American (ß = -.34, p < .001) students but not among Argentinean students. The hypothesised role of nationality as a moderator of the relationship between perceived social stigma for receiving therapy and attitudes towards seeking therapy was confirmed. Implications for research and training are discussed. Suggestions are made for English and American clinical psychology training programs to raise awareness on social stigma associated with receiving therapy.
Section C presents a critical appraisal of the process of conducting the present major research project, including learning outcomes, limitations, implications, and areas for future research.

KeywordsClinical psychologists; Clinical psychology; Students; Psychotherapy; Personal therapy; Stigma
Year2011
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Oct 2011
SubmittedJul 2011
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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