Common Mistakes Made by Beginning Psychotherapists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Based on supervisory experience with residents, the author identifies four common types of errors made by beginning therapists: pressing the past, pushing the transference, providing inappropriate support, and attempting premature overinterpretation. Each error class is illustrated, and the elements of timing and context that make the behavior erroneous are dissected. The therapist’s motivations that make these errors likely are also defined and found to be far from ominous. Recognizing the connection between wish and concrete behavior can help the beginning therapist achieve a more appropriate behavior. Codification of the behaviors into categories of error may also aid supervisors in their teaching task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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