Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Person of the Therapist in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Michael E. SudeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_1058

Name of Concept

Person of the Therapist in Couple and Family Therapy


Self of the Therapist; Use of Self


Research on the effectiveness of therapy shows that the person of the therapist is a significant and consistent common factor for outcome, regardless of therapeutic approach. Although there fails to be a universal definition, the person of the therapist usually refers to the therapist’s beliefs, values, experiences, and sociocultural identity. It also includes the ways that the therapist can be emotionally triggered, as well as how therapists use themselves to self-disclose or relate to clients’ experiences. Although early family therapy theorists focused on resolving personal issues so that they would not contaminate the therapy process, contemporary theorists focus more on how the person of the therapist can be a barrier as well as a resource in clinical practice. Research on the person of the therapist is limited, but several studies were conducted over the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLa Salle UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sean D. Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional PsychologyAlliant International UniversitySacramentoUSA