This study investigated trainee family therapists’ experiences of personal ‘therapeutic consultations’ during their systemic training, with particular interest in how this related to personal and professional development. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse one semi-structured interview with each of four participants. The results suggest that the consultations provided a unique and powerful learning opportunity, including learning about the interactional elements of systemic therapy, therapeutic relationship factors and relational roles. The consultations also affected the lives of those who attended the consultations, and in some cases family members who did not attend. The results raise several ethical considerations including, confusion about the boundary between the therapeutic consultations and systemic therapy, preparedness, and considerations about what we are asking of our families. It is argued that this is a powerful learning opportunity and should be repeated as long as attention is paid to the ethical points highlighted.
- family therapy
- personal and professional development
- therapeutic consultations
- personal therapy