School for Social Work
This study was done in order to examine, from the perspectives of therapists and their partners, the impact of the therapist's job on the couple's relationship. Each participant was encouraged to offer examples of both positive and negative experiences in their relationship and how they believed these experiences were affected – if at all – by the mind-set and/or skill-set of the therapist. Twelve participants were interviewed: six therapists and their partners. The major findings were that most of the participants believed that the therapists' use self-reflection during times of conflict had a positive impact on the relationship. The extended family valued the therapist's advice in matters such as child-rearing and conflict resolution. Several participants believed that it was not advantageous for therapists to bring their skill-set into their relationship or into matters that involved the extended-family unless asked to do so. Therapists needed some transition time when they got home from work. Also included in the findings is the type of person each of the partners in this study perceived their therapist-partner to be. Future research in this area is needed in order to gain additional perspective from partners of therapists. This would increase awareness of therapists regarding how their profession impacts their personal relationships and would thus be of value to the field of clinical social work.
McGinnis, Linda S., "From the perspectives of both : the impact of the therapist's job on the relationship between therapists and their partners" (2007). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.