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Michael Paul Tartaglia is a 2013 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Personal therapy has never been a training requirement for clinical psychology in the American Psychological Association (APA). This became more evident when the field of Clinical Psychology at the Boulder Conference over 30 years ago in which personal therapy was omitted as a requirement of doctoral education because there was a lack of sufficient empirical evidence to support such a mandate in the United States. While there has been research in the field of psychodynamic theory on personal therapy, the stance taken during the Boulder Conference (and to some extent the Chicago and Vail Conferences thereafter) continues to be the standard in regards to the training of psychologists. This has resulted in new psychologists having limited understanding of themselves and, at times, difficult or impaired relationships with their clients. This dissertation will look at the original psychoanalytic writings on training analysis and will use these points to explain the more recent literature on the utility of personal therapy, particularly in countries that still require it. In addition to these main points, the arguments against personal therapy will also be included to help showcase both sides of the issue. Using three major studies on personal therapy, this dissertation will use the themes found in the literature review to see if there is still a justification for not requiring personal therapy, as well as providing personal opinions on why the field has moved away from self-understanding and towards a predominantly outcome-focused approach to psychotherapy.

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