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Sopher, R. (2014). The Therapist as a Subject: Clinical Implications of the Therapist's Life Experiences: When the Personal Becomes Professional By Steven Kuchuck New York: Routledge, 288pp., $47.95, 2014. DIVISION/Rev., 11:12-14.
    

(2014). DIVISION/Review, 11:12-14

The Therapist as a Subject: Clinical Implications of the Therapist's Life Experiences: When the Personal Becomes Professional By Steven Kuchuck New York: Routledge, 288pp., $47.95, 2014

Review by:
Rachel Sopher

Some time ago, I wrote a short personal essay about my conflicted relationship with my Jewish identity for a small journal on religion. Shortly after it came out in print, I learned that the journal also maintains a website on which all of its articles are available and openly accessible to the public. The editor never informed me that the essay would be posted on the journal website. In fact, I only found out about its existence when a patient told me that she had Googled me and read the essay online. My personal life was out there and available to anyone who went looking for me, and I didn't even know it—I felt completely exposed.

After my patient revealed what she had found out about me online and told me about her reaction to this discovery, I went through what felt like a slow-motion internal self-inventory: How do I feel about my patient's newfound portal into my private life? How does she feel about it? Who else has read my essay? How do I fix this? Where can I hide? Even as I weathered my internal meltdown, I somehow had the wherewithal to recover myself and reengage with my patient despite my shock, and together we were able to go on to explore the meanings of the somewhat personal feelings and divulgences exposed in my essay, both for her and for our work together. But after our session I felt haunted by a lingering vulnerability, protectiveness over my privacy, and some real concern about the potentially negative effects the article could have on other patients and on my professional identity in general.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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