Countertransference and the Self-Aware Sport Psychologist: Attitudes and Patterns of Professional Practice

in The Sport Psychologist
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The literature in psychotherapy and sport psychology has supported the importance of self-awareness and countertransference management (Ellis, 2001; Leahy, 2001; Van Raalte & Andersen, 2000) and its applicability in all psychological settings (Hayes, 2004). This study was an audit of (n = 58) accredited UK sport psychology practitioners that explored the importance they attached to self-awareness and their behavior in practice that supported the management of these concerns. Results indicated that practitioners regarded self-insight and self-integration as important (Mdn = 4), but relied upon themselves and informal peer networks rather than regular supervision for professional support. Most practitioners never (Mdn=1) used counseling or therapy for personal support. Recommendations are made for piloting post-accreditation professional supervision in sport psychology and developing the provision of general counseling and sport psychology sessions for trainees.

The authors are with the School of Sport and Education at Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK. E-mail:;

The Sport Psychologist
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