Therapists' Benefits from Conducting Psychotherapy: The Case of Social Workers

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Objective: This study examines social workers' benefits from conducting psychotherapy. Method: The Therapist's Psychological Benefit Questionnaire (TPBQ), which includes six dimensions of benefits, was administered to 114 clinical social workers. Results: Participants were found to benefit most from Vocational Benefits and Self-Improvement, followed by Narcissistic Gains and Improved Relationships. Benefits related to Object Relations were ranked third, and those related to Fulfillment of Needs were ranked last. These results are discussed in light of the various theoretical-qualitative descriptions of therapists' gains from psychotherapy. Also discussed are the rankings of specific items included in the different dimensions. Conclusions: The participants are clearly not "selfless givers," thereby confirming the claim of many theoreticians that therapists benefit psychologically from their helping role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-723
Number of pages19
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Benefits
  • Countertransference
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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