Are you in favor of state licensing boards requiring pre-licensed therapists to undergo psychotherapy as part of licensure requirements, assuming all potential issues are addressed and adequately resolved prior to implementing such a requirement?
Thanks for taking part in this poll. As a longtime advocate for reducing harm in psychotherapy, I was pleased to see the large number of therapists in favor of such a requirement. My operating belief is that the more training, consultation, and personal psychotherapy a therapist does, the less likely he or she will be to cause harm, to abuse power, or get their own needs met at the expense of their clients. However, the troubling reality is that there are practicing therapists who have never experienced therapy for themselves. This reality is what lies behind GoodTherapy.org's effort to gather more information from respondents like you and to see if there's anything our organization can do to improve the quality of psychotherapeutic care.
The poll results, especially respondent notes in the Comments section, have been extremely helpful, not just in gauging the level of support for making a change in licensure requirements, but in outlining the potential pitfalls inherent in such a change. Even though a clear majority of respondents were in favor of requiring pre-licensed therapists to undergo therapy of their own, those respondents who were not in favor of this requirement raised some very important and valid concerns which should be addressed. In an effort to address these concerns, GoodTherapy.org has conducted a qualitative analysis of the comments made by those who answered NO or MAYBE to the poll. The analysis yielded seven general categories of arguments against requiring pre-licensed therapists to undergo their own psychotherapy, and they are as follows:
- Therapy Must be Warranted by Illness
- Effectiveness As a Therapist May Not be Directly Linked with Having Done Therapy
- Not all Therapy is Created Equal - How to Assure Quality Control?
- People Should Not be Forced to Undergo Therapy
- Therapy Requirements Are Better Regulated at the Graduate School Level
- Monetary Cost Associated with Mandatory Therapy is a Potential Hardship
- Confidentiality Issues Are a Consideration
Over the next eight weeks, I will present summaries of, and possible solutions to, each argument against having pre-licensed therapists undergo their own therapy to meet state licensure requirements. It is my hope that you will get involved, share your ideas, and be part of the process of improving the quality of psychotherapy services. Below I've addressed the first argument against requiring pre-licensed therapists to undergo therapy. Please visit the following web page and leave your remarks: Therapy Must be Warranted by Illness
Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, Founder and CEO
200 West 34th Avenue, Suite 501
Anchorage, Alaska 99503