Self‐concept of relational skills in psychotherapy trainees: A pilot study

Salvatore Gullo, Salvatore Gullo, Kathrin Mörtl, Omar C. G. Gelo, Jutta Fiegl, Elitsa Tilkidzhieva, Jutta Fiegl, Jutta Fiegl, David E. Orlinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Personal characteristics and relational skills represent central aspectsof the psychotherapist's work, and yet, little is still known about them in the contextof psychotherapy training.Objective: This paper presents a preliminary exploration of the self-conceptsof relationalskills in psychotherapy trainees. Changes in the self-conceptin N = 131 psychotherapytrainees were explored through analysis of self-imageideal-selfand self/ideal-selfdiscrepancy in two stages (beginning vs. advanced).Method: Data were collected with a modified version of the self-ratedinstrumentsTrainee Background Information Form and Trainee Current Practice Report (Orlinskyet al., 2015), and analysed with analyses of covariances for each dependent variable.Results: Expected differences in the self-imageof beginning versus advanced traineeswere not detected. However, differences in trainees’ ideal-selfand in self/ideal-selfdiscrepancy were found. Some gender and age differences were also detected.Conclusions: The results suggest possible changes in the self-conceptof relationalskills, indicative of self-developmentprocesses such as discovering a realistic senseof self and self-boundaries,managing intensive emotional interactions and developingregulatory interpersonal mechanisms. An in-depthand more refined future explorationof various aspects of the self-conceptin the context of psychotherapy trainingis needed to help understand the complex processes of forming an integrated self ofpsychotherapists.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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