Chasing the patient: The experience of training in psychotherapy training

Angelo Pennella, Angela Ragonese


The article addresses the issue of the internship training program in psychotherapy. Starting from the etymology of the term itself the authors describe the normative framework regulating practical training in the psychotherapeutic setting and illustrate how it can be actually implemented in current practice. One of the issues that are raised is that, too often, valuables opportunities of practical training are reduced to a formal act where trainees can be instructed to use predetermined psychotherapeutic techniques. This kind of approach leaves very little room for a genuine experience and depletes these opportunities of their considerable formative potential. Through a clinical example, the authors propose a different approach that is more in line with a vision of psychotherapy where becoming involved in an exchange relationship is essential to achieve the ultimate goal of promoting relations. In the proposed approach practical training is seen as a truly transformative experience for trainees, who are led to get emotionally involved in the clinical encounter and are challenged to review their cognitive and emotional schemes and the way they perceive the reality.


clinical, training, internship, experience, psychotherapy

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363