How do female therapists experience becoming a mother? : A qualitative study on comparing their personal and professional change of two cases

[Speaker] Yamaguchi, Keiko:1
[Co-author] Iwakabe, Shigeru:1
1:Ochanomizu University (Japan)

This qualitative study is a part of a larger project that investigated how female psychotherapists experienced the process of becoming a mother and how this experience impacted their sense of professional self based on interviews with 20 psychotherapists. We selected two participants who had sharply contrasting experience using case comparison method. Both therapists experienced time constraints due to daily parenting duties. The therapist who felt a sense of growth through the experience of child birth, early parenting, and consequent life changes accepted these limitations and was able to develop her own work style. The other therapist struggled to accept these limitations, which resulted in strong anxiety about going back to work and a poor sense of self-worth as both mother and therapist. These findings suggest that developing a realistic expectation over their career and personal life within the constraints of daily life is important for both personal and professional development.
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