The Importance of Reflection: An Exploratory Analysis on How Prospective Psychotherapists Learn Self-Determination
Bo Nurmi1, 2, Clive S. Michelsen3, Torsten Norlander2, 3 , *
1 School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden
2 Center for Research and Development, Evidens University College, Gothenburg, Sweden
3 Center for Research and Development, Sciens College, Malmö, Sweden
Learning to become a psychotherapist is a complicated process. Research on this topic has been limited and there is little consensus on how to assess therapeutic skills. SP/SR (Self-Reflection/Self-Practice) has emerged as a theory and method for learning psychotherapy. In this article students' reflections on how to become a psychotherapist has been studied from a phenomenological perspective.
The aim of the present exploratory study was to generate preliminary hypotheses for future investigations in order to elucidate the complicated processes that occur during the therapist training programs.
Five prospective psychotherapists were recruited to the present investigation, who all studied at the penultimate semester at Evidens University College, Gothenburg, Sweden. Unstructured qualitative in-depth interviews were used followed by phenomenological analysis.
Analysis yielded 252 meaning units and 12 categories which in turn led to four overarching themes: Learning as a visit to the dentist (when learning becomes painful because certain issues are not resolved); Learning as theatre (when the students just perform what is expected in order to pass); Learning as post-training soreness (when the learning process is challenging on a relevant level); Learning as reflections (when the students seek the intrinsic meaning).
The study provided a basis for preliminary hypotheses for future investigations: reflections are helpful for managing the challenges described in the four themes. This, in turn, led to the formulation of some proposals for research questions for future investigations.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Center for Research and Development, Evidens University College, Packhusplatsen 2, SE-411 13 Göteborg, Sweden; Tel: +46 70 662 11 89, Fax: +46 31 711 04 42;