Research and Reviews in Psychology

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The meaning of a master therapist: Filipino clinical practitioners perspective

This two-phase study attempted to understand the meaning of a master therapist based on the perspective of two groups of selected Filipino clinical practitioners, the master psychotherapist group and their fellow professionals in the field of psychology. A preliminary survey was conducted first to determine the master psychotherapist group and then to determine how fellow practitioners define a master therapist. A qualitative interview making use of digital recorder was then conducted to determine how the master psychotherapist group defines a master therapist. Data was analyzed using the interpretive phenomenological analysis. Findings revealed that both the master psychotherapist group and their fellow practitioners in the field of psychology perceive a master therapist in bifurcated terms. The meanings associated with being a master therapist focused more on qualities and skills which are usually developed through education and specialized trainings, but have had its foundation in childhood particularly in relation to family upbringing. Certain expectations based on profession significantly influenced the way fellow professionals described a master psychotherapist. It was concluded that fellow professionals define a master psychotherapist in the 
light of his/her professional and personal attributes. Moreover, master therapists are those persons born with the natural inclination to develop the attributes of a therapist and who were later nurtured by a supportive environment. Recommendations for the professionalization, contextualization and promotion of clinical practice of psychotherapy in the Philippines were emphasized.

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