Perceived professional development of Chinese psychotherapy trainees: a pilot study

Submitted: August 22, 2021
Accepted: July 11, 2022
Published: August 1, 2022
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For more than 30 years counselling and psychotherapy services in China have progressed rapidly. Currently, various Chinese universities, hospitals, official mental health centres, and private mental health service organizations provide psychotherapy training programs. However, little is known about Chinese psychotherapy trainees and their development. This pilot study investigated the characteristics and perceived professional development of 20 Chinese trainees during and after an advanced training program for psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy, which is a collaboration project between Peking Union Medical College Hospital and the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy from the University Medical Center Freiburg in Germany. Trainees completed questionnaires from the SPRISTAD (Society for Psychotherapy Research Interest Section on Therapist Training and Development) study at the beginning (T1), at the end (T2), and one year after finishing the program (T3). Seventeen of the twenty participants were clinicians. Trainees reported a prominent rise of Currently Experienced Growth throughout the training period, which nearly dropped to the baseline level after the training, although Retrospective Career Development showed a trend of an overall increase. Both ‘experience in therapy with patients’ and ‘participation in courses or seminars’ were the most important positively perceived sources of influence on trainees’ development. This implies the importance of continuous psychotherapy training for the development of therapists during their career. Future research with a larger sample size should also assess trainees’ development from the viewpoint of trainers, supervisors, and patients.



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How to Cite

Zhang, Y., Shi, L., Wei, J., Hartmann , A. ., Leonhart, R. ., Bassler, M. ., & Fritzsche, K. (2022). Perceived professional development of Chinese psychotherapy trainees: a pilot study. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 25(2).

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