Learning to “live upside down”: Experiencing the true and false self in psychotherapy training

Journal article


Swaby, H. 2020. Learning to “live upside down”: Experiencing the true and false self in psychotherapy training. Psychotherapy and Politics International. 18 (2), pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1002/ppi.1531
AuthorsSwaby, H.
Abstract

he emergence of the true self is often a significant part of training to become a psychotherapist. Yet the challenge this presents, particularly in relation to the movement between a true and false self, has been largely unacknowledged. This study aimed to explore UK trainee psychotherapists’ first-hand experiences of this, in order to understand how the phenomenon is experienced and explore the impact on trainees’ development. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with five trainee integrative psychotherapists who identified with this struggle. Interpretative phenomenological analysis illuminated two superordinate themes: The tensions of psychotherapy training and “Dropping the shackles”: The journey to self-acceptance. Findings highlight the many challenges of the psychotherapy trainee, illustrating how a conflicting need to be “true” alongside an impossible prospect of letting go of adaptations induces shame and judgments. Findings also highlighted the liberating processes of letting go of old constraints through a journey of self-acceptance and awareness.

Keywordstrue self ; psychotherapy ; trainee psychotherapists’; qualitative research
Year2020
JournalPsychotherapy and Politics International
Journal citation18 (2), pp. 1-15
PublisherWiley
ISSN1556-9195
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/ppi.1531
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ppi.1531
http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85084449978&partnerID=MN8TOARS
Output statusPublished
Publication dates10 May 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Mar 2023
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/9x95y/learning-to-live-upside-down-experiencing-the-true-and-false-self-in-psychotherapy-training

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