There is a limited body of literature and research when psychotherapists have a life-threatening illness. My research topic investigated psychotherapists’ stories about their sense and use of self when they experience a life-threatening illness. Much of the prior literature was couched in terms of therapist anxiety, denial and illness as an intrusion into therapeutic work. Of the limited literature that does exist, much of this takes the form of personal accounts that have been published in scholarly literature and journals.
Using methodology that draws from narrative analysis, illness narratives and constructivist and existential approaches, I conducted a narrative analysis of 21 psychotherapists personal accounts. This identified two core themes; Narratives of Disruption and Narratives of Reconstruction, each with several sub themes.
I have presented various aspects of my work at conferences, written book chapters and have other articles in development.
If my research is of interest, please be in touch through the Contact page. (link to contact please)
Some publications are briefly listed here:
- James, G. (2017). Disruption and Reconstruction: Stories of Psychotherapists’ Sense and Use of Self with Life-threatening Illness, University of New England, Armidale.
Edited Book Chapters and articles
- James, G. (2016). Transforming anger in a colourful life. In C. Noble & E. Day (Eds.), Psychotherapy and counselling: Reflections on practice (pp. 115-127). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
- James, G. (2015). Stories of opportunity in crisis when the therapist has a life threatening Illness In P. Bray & L. McLean (Eds.), At the crossroads of crisis and opportunity: Inter-disciplinary conversations (pp. 35-67). Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
- James, G. (2013). Crisis and opportunity when the therapist Is seriously ill. In P. Pimomo & M. Ditton (Eds.), Finding opportunities in crisis (pp. 75-94). Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
- James, G. (2012). Interface: Considerations of difference: Therapists’ responses to their own life-threatening illness. Psychotherapy in Australia, 19(1), 53.
- James G. (2008), Time on the Couch: Therapy for Therapists, The CAPA Quarterly, 1.
- James G (2007), Personal Loss as Professional Gain, The CAPA Quarterly, 4.
- James G (2007), Fumbling in the dark – Anxious clients or anxious therapists, The CAPA Quarterly, 3.
- James G. (2013). Crisis and opportunity when the therapist is seriously ill. Paper presented at the Crisis and Opportunity conference, Inter-disciplinery.net, Sydney.
- James G. (2012). Coming to life in the face of death: Exploring effectiveness through therapist stories of self and work when the therapist is seriously ill. Paper presented at the What Works? Effectiveness in Counselling and Psychotherapy Conference, Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, Melbourne
- James G. (2012). Dying to Practice or Coming Life? Therapists differing sense of self and work after a life threatening illness. Workshop presented at the Dimensions of Diversity Conference, Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW Sydney, Australia.
- James G. (2012). Dying to Practice or Coming to Life? Implications for therapist development, training and supervision learned from therapists with a life threatening illness. Paper presented at the Society for Counsellor and Psychotherapist Educators Conference, Sydney.
- James G. (2009). The space between ethical practice and complaint. Workshop presented at Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW conference, Sydney.
- James G. (2009). Time on the couch: Therapy for therapists. Paper presented at 2nd Australian College of Applied Psychology research conference, Brisbane.
- James G. (2008). Snakes and Ladders: The role of gatekeeping in the profession – an employer’s perspective. Workshop presented at Society for Counsellor and Psychotherapist Educators conference, Canberra
- James G. (2006). Dealing with Crisis, Grief, Illness and Loss of Meaning. Panel discussion at first Happiness and Its Causes conference, Vajrayana Institute, Sydney
- James G. (2006). Healing and Stressful Involvement with Therapeutic Work: Implications for the Therapists Journey of Development and Wellbeing. Workshop presented at Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW conference, Sydney.