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Alexander Orlov1, Natalya Orlova2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), 9 Institutskiy per., Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region, 141700, Russian Federation

The Psychological Status of a Psychotherapist

2014. Vol. 11. No. 2. P. 136–149 [issue contents]

Traditionally, the psychological status of the therapist is defined as a personality. However, the therapeutic relationship is very specific (unconventional) and therefore cannot be regarded merely as a form of interpersonal relationship. This contradiction poses the problem of the therapist’s psychological status. The authors reveal the following polar dimensions of subjectivity: individuality (personality) and individity (essence). Personality/individuality are objects of traditional humanity. Individity is a specific, integrated embodiment of the human essence. It serves as an instance, responsible for the process of individuation, and is the result of individuation. The main features of individity are: numinous, transpersonal experiences; sensitivity and openness to experience; authenticity and congruence; and ability to love. The most important condition of the psychotherapeutic process is the psychological status of the psychotherapist. This status is the result of actualization. It is not the therapist’s individuality, but his/her individity that is in communication with a client. The therapist’s individity is characterized not only by unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding of the client and congruent self-expression, but also by an altered (unconditional) state of the therapist’s consciousness where his/her intuitive, positive and essential characteristics are present in the therapeutic situation.

Citation: Orlov, A. B., & Orlova, N. A. (2014). Psikhologicheskii status psikhoterapevta [The Psychological Status of a Psychotherapist]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 11(2), 136-149. 
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