The therapist is the tool. The relationship is the medium.

Therapy is conducted through the person of the therapist in relationship with clients. Theory and technique are applied through the humanity of the therapist, which itself needs to undergo a personally transformative experience that enables therapists to make their personal selves instrumental in the service of the therapeutic process. The goal is to achieve an active and therapeutically effective mastery of the self within the role of therapist.

To attain greater mastery of self, therapists need to know themselves, have access to their memories, emotions, and values, and gain in the ability to selectively and actively draw from past and present experiences in relating, assessing and intervening with clients.

This workshop will present the theory behind this use of self, and the training process for maximizing the effectiveness of the use of self in therapy. The presentation will also offer guidelines for supervising therapists on the use of their own person in the therapeutic process.

There will be lecture, videotapes, and discussion. The workshop will:

  1. Provide a theoretical overview of the Person-of-the-Therapist Model.
  2. Offer practical guidelines for the use of therapists’ own person in all stages of therapy.
  3. Offer models for both the training and supervision of therapists on the use of their own person in their clinical work.


What is different about treating poor families?The economically and socially disadvantaged suffer emotional pain and relationship troubles like anyone else, but also face challenges specific to their socioeconomic circumstances. So what do therapists need to deliver effective help?Therapists must be able to:
  • Reach within themselves for the common humanity that bridges the gap between themselves and their clients whatever their differences;
  • Recognize, respect and work with and through the distinctive racial, ethnic and life-style characteristics of their clients;
  • Build on the strengths of their clients while empathizing with their woundedness;
  • Engage their clients within the contexts of their families and communities;
  • Approach issues and goals in ways that their clients perceive as tangible and result-producing;
  • Genuinely care.
There will be lecture, videotapes, and discussion. Participants will:
  1. Learn about the effects social stressors have on family relationships and the individual’s psychology.
  2. Learn how to meet the personal challenges – emotional, cultural & spiritual – the work with underprivileged families present for therapists.
  3. Learn how the basic tasks of therapy can be approached to provide relevant and effective help to disadvantaged families.