How does the exchange of money impact the therapeutic relationship in private practice? Counsellors’ perspectives: A small scale qualitative study.
AuthorsTonks, Lindsay J.
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AbstractWhether we like it or not, money occupies a very important place in the lives of most of us: it symbolises all that we value in society and may even be a metaphor for love. But how does it feel to use it as the medium of exchange in the depth of human interaction we seek to achieve in the therapeutic relationship? This small scale qualitative research used interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the perspectives on their experience of the impact of the fee transaction of six counsellors in private practice, using semi-structured interviews. Findings suggested that the relationship of the self of the therapist with money played a key part, often leading to a difficulty in reconciling the taking of money with the therapeutic role and this became most apparent in the physical transaction, particularly when it was necessary to ask for money. Participants felt it was important to feel valued, but also that they were providing value for money. The fee represents one of the least well explored elements of the therapeutic alliance. It is barely covered in training programs and therefore the potential comparison between charging for psychotherapy in private practice and prostitution is avoided. It appears that the taboo status that money occupies in society is also to be found in therapy rooms.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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