Do Therapists Cry in Therapy?

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      Do Therapists Cry in Therapy? The Role of Experience and Other Factors in Therapists’ Tears.

      Amy C Blume-Marcovici, Ronald A Stolberg, and Mojgan Khademi
      Psychotherapy (Chic) (2013), PMID 23398034

      The subject of therapist’s crying in therapy (TCIT) has been virtually ignored in the literature, with only 1 qualitative dissertation and 3 case studies devoted to the topic. This mixed-method survey study explored therapists’ experiences with and attitude toward TCIT. Six hundred eighty-four U.S. psychologists and trainees filled out the survey online, revealing that 72% of therapists report having cried in therapy in their role as therapist. Data analysis indicated that the act of crying in therapy has less to do with personality or demographic factors (i.e., Big Five traits, sex, empathy) and more to do with the unique aspects of the therapy itself and the therapist’s identity in the therapeutic context (theoretical orientation, clinical experience, affective tone of the session). Clinicians with more experience, who are older, cried more in therapy than novice clinicians, despite lower crying frequency in daily life, suggesting that more experienced therapists feel more comfortable allowing themselves to experience and/or express such emotions in therapy sessions. Psychodynamic therapists reported slightly higher rates of TCIT than cognitive-behavioral therapists despite no difference in crying in daily life. Despite significant differences in crying rates in daily life, male and female clinicians report similar rates of TCIT. Data regarding the relationship between TCIT and Big Five personality traits, empathy, and perceived consequences of TCIT are reported. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

      This paper is brought to you by the library at Arizona State University.

      DOI : 10.1037/a0031384
      Version: za2963e q8za8 q8zb3 q8zc2 q8zd2 q8ze5 q8zff q8zgd

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