Personal psychotherapy is a key element of any psychotherapy training. Those seeking to work with others need to have considerable self-awareness to ensure that they are robust, sensitive clinicians and that their own issues and defences don’t cloud their ability to see or work with those of their clients.

Training is challenging. Background reading triggers thoughts and realisations about one’s own experiences and responses that can then be thought through in personal psychotherapy. Similarly, starting to work with clients often touches on a therapist’s own issues: supervision helps with the theoretical and technical skills; psychotherapy addresses the more personal aspects. In this way, theory, supervision and personal psychotherapy should dovetail in order to support someone in their personal growth. Emerging from behind defences is both exciting and painful: such defences often develop over years to help protect the self from distressing – or even traumatic – personal circumstances.

While most training organisations specify 40 sessions of psychotherapy per year, Lynn’s experience indicates that this may be the bare minimum and do no more than scratch the surface. She believes that it is important for trainees to give their own work the time and attention it deserves – which may mean more than one session a week. In this way, psychotherapy can help someone be the fullest individual and the best possible clinician.