The Value and Cost of Mandatory Personal Therapy


  • Tami Avis City University


Counselling psychology trainees, in the UK, are obliged to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of per- sonal therapy as part of their DPsych course requirements. This requirement creates some stress and remains controversial in the profession at large. This paper constitutes part of a wider doctoral study on how this mandatory therapy is experienced from the perspectives of both trainees and counselling psy- chologists who have trainees as clients. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was employed to access the lived experience of four trainees and four qualified psychologists. Four overarching cate- gories common to the two groups were identified in the broader study: impact of mandatory therapy on therapeutic process; the therapeutic performance; the value of therapy and; boundaries. Whilst many trainees felt that therapy should remain a compulsory course requirement, they also highlighted that it costs them both emotionally and financially. I had not included questions regarding finance in my origi- nal interview schedules and did not anticipate that both trainees and therapists would mention finance so often and so fervently. Consequently in this paper, I am selectively focusing on the financial and emo- tional side of mandatory personal therapy. This article will concentrate solely on the findings related to the emotional and financial impact of mandatory personal therapy on trainees and their therapists.



How to Cite

Avis, T. (2011). The Value and Cost of Mandatory Personal Therapy. European Journal for Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy, (5), 43-55. Retrieved from