Therapist Awareness And Professional Development Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Psychology Type: Term Paper Paper: #66656430 Related Topics: Professional Development Plan, Self Awareness, Heritage Assessment, Career Development
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Duncan (2010) points out, therapists often neglect to pay attention to their own growth and personal changes during the process of working with clients over the course of a career. Focusing on our clients is of course the center point of our work. However, we can be far more effective as therapists when we are aware of what is going on inside of us. Awareness can lead to insights regarding how we can be of better service to our clients, while also preventing problems for ourselves such as burnout.

Specific methods of tracking personal development, which have also been empirically tested, include the various types of feedback mechanisms, the Healing Involvement model, and also the process of cumulative career development (CCD), all of which reveal concrete ways of improving therapeutic outcomes (Duncan, 2010, Chapter 4). While some of these methods may seem to be based on intuitive responses, they are nevertheless rooted in concrete analyses of the therapeutic process and the ability to remain cognitively fresh and present.

My motivations for becoming a clinician are precisely echoed by Duncan (2010), who states that psychotherapy "provides the privilege of making a difference in the lives of those we serve," (p. 164). Having worked with disadvantaged and at-risk youth as a volunteer, I have become strongly motivated to make my own mark on the world by helping people strengthen their coping mechanisms and shifting their perspective in order to achieve personal goals like


These readings have prepared me to delve deeper into the profession via ongoing personal and professional development, enhanced by client feedback, active engagement with cumulative career development, and regular self-reflection.

I have also long been aware of the disparities in mental health services, some of which are based on cultural attitudes or beliefs about mental health. This is why I had always sought to work with minority populations, even those who were from different backgrounds than my own. I come from a mixed ethnic heritage, and as such, have knowledge of multiple cultural beliefs and backgrounds. I feel that I can make a difference in helping others who are from mixed backgrounds and struggling with identity and social issues. My background allows me to understand some issues better than others, however. For example, I have not worked extensively with a Native American population and might need to admit that the values, worldviews, and experiences of Native American clients are not going to be similar to those from other backgrounds. I do not come from either a high status or low status position, but I have to admit that my mixed background has allowed me to "pass" for many different ethnicities, and this has been both helpful and harmful in my ability to relate to others. Sometimes it can be helpful if not necessary to be more objective and to codify my perceptions and experiences. The ADDRESS model described by Hays (1996) can help therapists like me to situate ourselves in the world in an objective manner, so that we can become aware of the biases and beliefs we have toward clients who are…

Sources Used in Documents:


American Psychological Association. (2003). Guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists. American Psychologist. 58(5), 377-402.

Duncan, B. (2010). On becoming a better therapist. American Psychological Society

Hays (1996), Addressing the complexities of culture and gender in counseling. Journal of Counseling & Develoment. V 74. Retrieved from;

Meichenbaum, D., (2002). Self-care for trauma psychotherapists and caregivers: Individual, social, and organizational interventions. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved from:

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