Why are people motivated to be CPs? Implications

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Why are people motivated to be CPs? Implications

Post by maven » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:46 pm

Is it to do with attachment anxiety?

Although some people say insecure attachment leads people to "helping professions" I think it's simplistic to divide adult attachment merely into secure and insecure. I think often it’s about how processed the strengths and short-comings in your attachment relationships are, and that often reflects adult experiences more than the original childhood ones. In AAI terms the "earned secure" style is often very resilient and resourceful as these people have been through adversity but learned how to form secure attachments with others through later experience and reflection. As such they make good parents/carers and would probably also make good psychologists. However people who have had insecure attachments and have not been able to reflect on that and address it tend to have less coherence in their own narratives and relationships and would therefore probably not make ideal therapists....

Also wanting to be useful and help others does not necessarily correlate with insecure attachments. You can have a secure attachment and still have a narrative that values caring for others. In fact it is part of the role most people see as the female stereotype, so it is probably very common indeed....

Is it to do with their own mental health?

There is some concern about people who have experienced mental health difficulties meeting their own needs in the service of others (which is somewhat contentious, as of course there will be some level of having needs met). It is important to put this into perspective, 1 in 4 people will have a diagnosis of a mental health problem across their lifespan. As such, psychologists are not immune. It is difficult to comment on levels of recovery and appropriateness of working with people who have similar difficulties as a clinician has, or has had. Possibly what is most salient is those of us that may have difficulties that are unacknowledged and as such unconscious. This can be very active in the countertransference. Knowing and reflecting on your difficulties is probably more important than anything else. Indeed there are some that believe strongly that being able to place yourselves in the shoes of your clients is very beneficial to client outcome, there is a notion that those who have ‘suffered’ are more able to do that (cf. Jung).

Relevant wiki here.

Another one here.

Further reading:
The Use of Self in Therapy Of which there are some extracts here for a taster!

Wounded Healers: Mental Health Workers Experiences of Depression: Mental Health Workers' Experiences of Depression

The Wounded Healer: Countertransference from a Jungian Perspective

Removing the Mask of Kindness: Diagnosis and Treatment of the Caretaker Personality Disorder

Is it to do with their experiences of mental health problems in loved ones?

Mod/Wiki keeper: This wiki is still under construction, contributions gratefully received! Just post below and one of us will edit your contribution in!

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