What Creates and Sustains Commitment to the Practice of Psychotherapy?

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Qualitative methods were used to identify characteristics of “passionately committed psychotherapists” (experienced psychotherapists who would describe themselves as having found the vocation that suits them better than any other) identified by peers in the Utah public mental health system. Six themes were identified by all 15 interviewees: balance between work and nonwork passions, adaptiveness and openness, transcendence (the belief that the practice of psychotherapy has extraordinary significance), intentional learning, personal fit with the role, and passion-supporting beliefs. These are characteristics that psychotherapists should nurture in themselves, that program supervisors should seek in potential employees, and that training programs should develop in trainees.

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