The personal self of psychotherapists, that is, experiences of self in close personal relationships and its association with therapists' individual and professional attributes is explored. The study aimed to: (a) describe therapists' self‐ratings on specific self‐attributes; (b) determine their dimensionality; (c) explore demographic, psychological, and professional correlates; and (d) assess the convergence with professional self.
Data from the Development of Psychotherapists Common Core Questionnaire were available for > 10,000 psychotherapists of various professions, theoretical orientations, career levels, and nations.
Most psychotherapists described themselves in close relationships in affirming terms (e.g., warm/friendly), although a substantial minority also described themselves in negative terms. Factor analyses yielded four dimensions: Genial/Caring, Forceful/Exacting, Reclusive/Remote, and Ardent/Expressive. Being Genial/Caring was associated with life satisfaction. Among professional attributes, personal self‐experiences, and parallel dimensions of relationship with clients correlated strongly.
Analyses of > 10,000 psychotherapists revealed meaningful variations in personal self relevant to personal and professional life.