The cognitive, emotional, and relational characteristics of master therapists
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Cognitive, emotional, and relational characteristics among 10 peer-nominated master therapists were identified through qualitative research methods. Results suggest that master therapists (a) are voracious learners; (b) draw heavily on accumulated experiences; (c) value cognitive complexity and ambiguity; (d) are emotionally receptive; (e) are mentally healthy and mature and attend to their own emotional well-being; (f) are aware of how their emotional health impacts their work; (g) possess strong relationships skills; (h) believe in the working alliance; and (i) are experts at using their exceptional relational skills in therapy. These findings suggest that researchers studying therapist expertise may want to explore emotional and relational characteristics in addition to an almost exclusive focus on the therapist's cognitive attributes.
Journal of Counseling Psychology