Title

“Use of Self”, Vulnerability, and Multicultural Encounters within Therapeutic Dyads

Conference Strand

Practice, Strategies, Techniques, and Interventions

Abstract

The focus of this presentation is multicultural competency and “use of self” within psychotherapy. Case examples of therapist and client dyads, specifically with contrasting identities, will be used for discussion. We will explore the idea that the explicit processing of differences between therapist and client can increase the therapeutic alliance. The need for the therapist’s vulnerability will also be discussed.

Description

Use of self (UOS) is often thought of as the therapist’s transparency with clients in the consulting room, which may include self-disclosure of the therapist’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions to aid in client self-awareness and growth. While current psychological thought perceives the presence of the therapist’s self as a possible benefit, historically, the preference was for a “blank slate.” Furthermore, countertransference was seen as an issue to be controlled as opposed to another source of information. As more humanistic and relational theories were introduced to psychology, it was deemed acceptable for the therapist to utilize his or her “self” as a tool. However, there is an inherent vulnerability to UOS, in part due to the permitting of the client to impact the therapist, as well as the action of the therapist verbalizing a felt experience. Additionally, multicultural competency increasingly has become more of a focus within training and clinical work. Components of multicultural competency include self-awareness, knowledge, and skills. Our question is how to combine these two aspects in order to grow the therapeutic alliance, while “leaning into” the intrinsic vulnerability that is present in sharing of one’s self (UOS) and the discomfort that may be present when exploring identity differences, especially in relation to privilege and power.

Goals and objectives of this presentation include identifying various factors of the aforementioned concepts. Content will include the background of UOS, multicultural competency, and case examples from research and professional experience of the presenters. Manner of engagement for participants will include group discussion regarding their concept of use of self, their own examples, and exploration of pros and cons of the utilization of use of self with clients.

Evidence

Arnd-Caddigan, M., & Pozzuto, R. (2008). Use of self in relational clinical social

work. Clinical Social Work Journal, 36(3), 235-243.

Baldwin, M. (2013). The use of self in therapy. New York: Routledge.

Baldwin Jr, D. C. (1987). Some philosophical and psychological contributions to the

use of self in therapy. Journal of Psychotherapy & The Family, 3(1), 27-44.

Chao, R. C. L., Wei, M., Good, G. E., & Flores, L. Y. (2011). Race/ethnicity, color-

blind racial attitudes, and multicultural counseling competence: The moderating

effects of multicultural counseling training. Journal of Counseling Psychology,

58(1), 72-82.

Collins, S., & Arthur, N. (2010). Culture-infused counselling: A fresh look at a

classic framework of multicultural counselling competencies. Counselling

Psychology Quarterly, 23(2), 203-216.

Dewane, C. J. (2006). Use of self: A primer revisited. Clinical Social Work Journal,

34(4), 543-558.

Ganzer, C. (2007) Ganzer, C. (2007). The use of self from a relational perspective.

Clinical Social Work Journal, 35(2), 117-123.

Knight, C. (2012). Therapeutic use of self: Theoretical and evidence-based

considerations for clinical practice and supervision. The Clinical Supervisor,

31(1),1-24.

Miller, G. D., & Baldwin Jr, D. C. (1987). Implications of the wounded-healer

paradigm for the use of the self in therapy. Journal of Psychotherapy & the

Family, 3(1), 139-151.

Niño, A., Kissil, K., Claudio, A., & Florina, L. (2015). Perceived professional gains

of Master's level students following a person‐of‐the‐therapist training program:

A retrospective content analysis. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41(2),

163-176.

Skovholt, T. M., & Rønnestad, M. H. (2003). Struggles of the novice counselor and

therapist. Journal of Career Development, 30(1), 45-58.

Winter, J., & Aponte, H. J. (1987). The person and practice of the therapist:

Treatment and training. Journal of Psychotherapy & the Family, 3(1), 85-111.

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Jennifer Moore, Ph.D., is currently the practicum coordinator for the counseling center at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee. She earned her doctorate in counseling psychology from Auburn University in May of 2012 and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Tennessee. Dr. Moore’s interests include multicultural encounters, relational psychotherapy, formation and acceptance of one’s person-hood, and how attachment-styles influence present-day relationships.

Kimberly Melson holds a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in community counseling from Columbus State University, conferred in May 2014. She maintains licensure as a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor (LAPC) and certification as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Mrs. Melson is currently the Coordinator for Outreach and Prevention at Columbus State University. Interests include crises of faith, multiculturalism, grief, and the intersection of sexual, gender, and religious identities.

Start Date

2-9-2018 1:00 PM

End Date

2-9-2018 2:15 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Feb 9th, 1:00 PM Feb 9th, 2:15 PM

“Use of Self”, Vulnerability, and Multicultural Encounters within Therapeutic Dyads

The focus of this presentation is multicultural competency and “use of self” within psychotherapy. Case examples of therapist and client dyads, specifically with contrasting identities, will be used for discussion. We will explore the idea that the explicit processing of differences between therapist and client can increase the therapeutic alliance. The need for the therapist’s vulnerability will also be discussed.