Wisdom and psychotherapy: Studying expert therapists' clinical wisdom to explicate common processes

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Objective: This research study explores the concept of clinical wisdom. Method: Seventeen psychologists who were nominated multiple times by their peers as wise clinicians participated in an interview on clinical wisdom, analyzed using grounded-theory methods.Results: Participants described clinical wisdom as accepting that the best answers to clients' problems often were not immediately accessible and instead using their sense of their clients, their theory of psychotherapy, and their own experiences of adversity, diversity, and intimate relationships to help clients explore the ambiguities and vulnerabilities they experienced to craft idiosyncratic answers. Conclusions: An understanding of clinical wisdom is put forward, characterized by markers and principles for practice, to guide therapy processes within therapists' intentionality and direct research on common factors.


E-pub available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25084092.


Psychotherapy Research, Taylor & Francis