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Research Article  |   March 2009
Therapeutic Use of Self: A Nationwide Survey of Practitioners’ Attitudes and Experiences
Author Affiliations
  • Renee R. Taylor, PhD, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1919 West Taylor Street (MC 811), Chicago, IL 60612; rtaylor@uic.edu
  • Sun Wook Lee, MS, OTR/L, is Doctoral Student in disability studies, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Gary Kielhofner, DrPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor and Wade/Meyer Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Manali Ketkar, MS, OTR/L, is Advanced Master's Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
Article Information
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Research Article   |   March 2009
Therapeutic Use of Self: A Nationwide Survey of Practitioners’ Attitudes and Experiences
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2009, Vol. 63, 198-207. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.2.198
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2009, Vol. 63, 198-207. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.2.198
Abstract

Practitioners’ preparation for, attitudes toward, and experience of the therapeutic relationship and use of self were explored using a survey study with a random sample of 1,000 American Occupational Therapy Association members. Participants reported a high value for the therapeutic relationship and use of self; most felt that they were inadequately trained and that the field lacks sufficient knowledge in these areas. Regardless of practitioners’ age, gender, experience level, setting, treatment intensity, and client impairment, those who placed higher value on the use of self and had more training related to the therapeutic use of self were more likely to report interpersonal difficulties and feelings of positive regard for clients and were more likely to report concerns about clients. The findings suggest that more attention needs to be paid to the therapeutic relationship and to the therapeutic use of self in education and in research.