Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social workers-Counseling of, Graduate students-Counseling of, Mental health personnel-Counseling of, Social workers-Attitudes, Graduate students-Attitudes, Mental health personnel-Attitudes, Psychotherapy, Therapist, Client, Clinicians, Therapy


The subject of graduate students undergoing their own therapeutic process in order to become more competent clinicians is a subject of much debate in the literature. There is evidence to suggest both benefits and risks to clinicians undergoing the therapeutic process. This study was undertaken to further explore how clinicians perceive their own mental health, if they have been in therapy previously, found it to be helpful, or unhelpful, and if they think that personal therapy should be a requirement for graduate students who are studying to be clinicians. This was a mixed methods study, which was exploratory in nature. The study was an anonymous online survey consisting of 23 questions. Seventy-eight graduate students and mental health professionals from various mental health disciplines completed the survey. Major findings include 92.22% of participants had engaged in personal therapy previously, 95.8% found it to be helpful, 94.8% thought that personal therapy would be helpful for graduate students in a clinical program, but only 56.4% thought that personal therapy should be a requirement for students. Future studies may focus on specifically seeking out individuals who found their personal therapy to be unhelpful.




v, 72 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 47-49)