Becoming a Therapist: Inside the Learning Curve
by Erik Sween
In this candid video a group of new therapists reveal the challenges they faced during their first year of seeing clients. Especially useful for preparing beginning therapy students.
This video presents the insider’s story of student therapists during their Internship or Practicum year. What’s it like seeing your first clients? How do you handle making mistakes? How do you get the most out of Supervision? Five beginning therapists describe the challenges and the important turning points they experienced during their first year of seeing clients.

Students will welcome this Video for it’s honesty and instructors will appreciate it for raising key issues and generating classroom discussion. This 25-minute format is ideal for classroom use. Designed for students just starting Practicum or Internship, this video provides an invaluable resource for Faculty, Libraries, and Supervisors in graduate programs in Counseling, Social Work, and Psychology.

What therapists are saying…

"This is an engaging, professionally-done video, giving practical and experience-near advice for beginning therapists-in-training. It demystifies the ordinary fears, exhilarations, and challenges as one begins to practice psychotherapy in trainee and internship settings. It is most appropriate for students in graduate programs in clinical and counseling psychology, and includes a helpful Instructor’s Manual to orient classroom discussion."

-- Kenneth Bradford, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Graduate School for Holistic Studies, John F. Kennedy University
"The students interviewed in this engaging video candidly voice some of the key concerns of novice clinicians and share some of the ways they have effectively addressed them. It is guaranteed to stimulate student discussion and authentic exploration of the fears, crises of confidence, and challenges associated with first clinical experiences. In short, an inspiring video that is an excellent resource for students and faculty supervisors."

-- J. Fraser Pierson, PhD, Professor of Psychology Southern Oregon University
"This training video is useful in so many ways. The trainees are both articulate and down-to-earth, and are able to normalize the anxiety of beginning to see clients from a variety of perspectives. Even more essential, the students model self-reflectiveness and an appropriate level of self-disclosure. Supervisors of beginning students are sure to appreciate both the content of this video, and the process of healthy and compassionate self-examination that it promotes. Unlike many training videos, I liked the length, the quality, and the educational value of this video. We will use the video with all of our beginning students."

-- Shelly Smith-Acuna, PhD, Director of PsyD Program, Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of Denver
"My interns and trainees enjoyed the video and could really identify with the budding therapists. What I liked as the facilitator was that it really helped the group begin a good discussion of their biggest fears and concerns. It seemed to put them at ease to not only know that others felt every bit as nervous and scared as they do; I believe it normalized their anxiety as an appropriate phase in this developmental process of becoming a therapist. We used the role plays included in the booklet accompanying the DVD, and several of the discussion questions helped to guide our larger group discussion after the breakouts. I am sure we will continue to make good use of this video in future trainings."

-- Louise Monsour, MA, LMFT, Director of Clinical Training The Pacific Center for Human Growth
"...Becoming a Therapist: Inside the Learning Curve provides beginning graduate students with candid information that normalizes and reassures....It can be a useful adjunct in related classes, especially if instructors sense that their students are especially nervous about their upcoming practica or if they are having difficulty in addressing these professional identity challenges."

-- Steven Meyers, PhD, reviewed in APA PsycCritiques
"Highly recommended." (3 1/2 of 4 Stars)

-- Video Librarian, July/August, 2012
In Depth
In this video your students will learn about:

• Common fears and concerns that new therapists experience
• How to make the best use of supervision
• The importance of trying out new techniques and skills
• Developing the ability to learn from their mistakes
• The importance of getting support during internship

Length of video: 00:25:00

English subtitles available

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-234-4

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-205-0

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-205-1

Erik Sween is a psychologist with 15 years of experience training student therapists. He has worked in private practice, community mental health, college counseling, and family medicine settings. His interests include Narrative Psychology and Meaning-Centered Therapy. He maintains a private practice and teaches part-time at the University of Denver.

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