In the last fewdecades, the concept of “self” of the therapist has been one of the mostimportant subjects in the fields of psychotherapy and counselling (Strawbridge& Woolfe, 2010).
Relevant researches have indicated that the degree and thequality of the relationship between therapists and their patients (Donati,2003) are determining the success (or failure) of therapy, while others haveaccumulated the universal success of therapeutic methods (Cooper & McLeod,2011; Loborsky, Singer & Luborsky, 1974; Wampold, 2001). The notion of”common factors” resulting in the determination of therapy’s success focus onthe relationship of the therapist with the client, along with theprofessional’s point of view regarding the concept of counselor’s “self”(Clarkson, 1995). Additionally, the development of the therapist’s self hasbeen highlighted as an equally important issue, directly linked with thepersonal and professional aspects of counselling, thus leading the researchersin the assumption that personal development of the therapist’s self should beachieved simultaneously with his/her technical and therapeutic skills andacademic background (Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992; Wilkins, 1997).
Counsellordevelopment has been divided into two main categories, so as to emphasize theimportance of the segments “personal development” and “professionaldevelopment” (Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992). While the expert aptitudes and academic background focusing intotherapeutic work have generally been the fundamental concentration of training,the later affirmation of the significance of the advisor’s self in effectiverestorative result is likewise spoken to in training, with self-improvementturning into a mandatory part of preparing for all Counseling Psychologytrainings and most directing courses (Rizq,2010). Numerous theories regarding thesignificance of self-improvement work have been proposed, which feature theconnection between the personal and professional parts of the instructor’sself. These facilitate the belief that the therapist must have perception andsympathy towards their own issues, so as to be fully capable to effectivelyhelp others (Donati and Watts, 2005).
Moreover, it was suggested that remedialaptitudes, such as, the comprehension of countertransference can be improvedthrough development and mindfulness, (Jacobs, 2006) and that personaldevelopment additionally shields the advocate from career burnout, aspsychological counselling can be a very emotionally demanding process (Wilkins,1997).