Almost two decades ago, the psychoanalyst Sussman concluded that the therapist's motivation for practicing was a neglected area. Is this maybe a question best left alone? This book revisits the question. The authors support Sussman's rationale for raising the issue in the first place and wonder if much has changed since he referred to it as a 'neglected' area twenty years ago? This is an inquiry that moves from personal musing to collaborative and systematic inquiry. At the heart of the book lie six separate accounts as told by counsellors and psychotherapists in a reflective writing- and peer support group. Each therapist represent a different modality and all come with very different backgrounds. These accounts are put into context of ongoing literature and viewed with reference to a survey where 238 other therapists provide their perspective on the question. Like in the case of, for instance, Feltham (1999), Rowan & Jacobs (2003) and Val Wosket (1999) 'the therapist's use of self', is a key theme. It is particularly so in the case of Wosket, who approaches the area of the therapist's use of self with an interest in reflective practice.
The attention paid to what therapists bring into the therapeutic relationship is shared with Steve Page (1999) who explores the therapists' input in terms of both potential enlightenment and shadows.