Inhibition of anger in the child psychotherapist: examining its effects on the therapeutic process
Xharra Bates, Hana
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A modified systematic literature review was adopted as a research method to examine the impact on the therapeutic process of the therapist’s inability to recognise anger in themselves. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the origins of anger and the basis for inhibition of anger different theoretical constructs are examined. The factors that influence the therapist’s inhibition of anger are then explored. The findings revealed that the therapist might find it difficult to be aware of their anger, due to countertransference issues, culture and socialisation dynamics, and professional factors. These factors indicate that the therapist’s failure to recognise anger in themselves has a negative impact on the relationship with the child and their family within the therapeutic process. These factors also highlight that an essential component in facilitating change in the therapeutic process is the therapist’s awareness and recognition of their inhibited anger. Clinically, the findings from this study may help child psychotherapists to increase their awareness of their own history of anger inhibition, and its implications for the therapeutic process.