Cognitive Behavioral Therapies Master of Science Program
Department of Psychology & Psychotherapy; Titu Maiorescu University

Challenges encountered by psychotherapists at the beginning of their practice

Pursuing a career in psychology can be exciting, interesting and challenging at least. This paper explores the main issues that can occur in the private practice and the challenges of establishing a professional identity in the early days, starting from the motivations behind choosing this career and covering issues that might arise in the process. Feelings of insecurity and self-doubt are frequent amongst mental health professionals, regardless of their experience. For novice therapists, feelings of incompetence are a central feature in the development of their professional identity. Scientific studies reveal some common issues among novice therapists such as self-doubt, anxiety and feelings of incompetence due to lack of skills and experience (Thériault, Gazzola, & Richardson, 2009).

Keywords: novice psychotherapists, challenges, motivations, private practice, professional identity