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On learning psychotherapy from clients

Nielsen, Klaus (2008) On learning psychotherapy from clients. Nordic Psychology 60 (3), pp. 163-182. ISSN 1901-2276.

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Employing a phenomenological perspective, this paper examines how psychotherapists learn to become competent professionals. It argues that the study of psychotherapy is not merely learning to apply scientific rules to specific problems in practice; rather, doing psychotherapy may be compared with doing art. Based on seven interviews with experienced psychotherapists, the paper makes the claim that artistic competencies are similar to those learned in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is seen as revolving around the clients' narratives, and psychotherapists learn to take part in clients' narratives. The results of this study and a theoretical discussion are used to argue that the relationship between scientific psychology and psychotherapy in practice must be reformulated, that practical psychotherapy rests on its own premises, and learning to practice psychotherapy has a broader scope than merely acquiring technical qualifications.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Learning, psychotherapy, narratives, art, supervision
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Management
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2011 14:55
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2013 10:38

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