Therapy for Students


Students may be interested in seeking psychotherapy for themselves during their clinical training, and we feel it is appropriate for them to do so. In some cases, therapy might be recommended to a student to help resolve issues that seem to interfere with personal or professional development. Even in the absence of such issues, psychotherapy can be very helpful for both. For example, it can increase your lived understanding of the process of psychotherapeutic change, and increase your empathy for clients’ experiences of psychotherapy. An estimated 38-75% of clinical psychology doctoral students are involved in, or have been involved in, personal therapy. In that study, personal growth was given as the main reason for seeking therapy (Holzman, Searight, & Hughes, 1996).

It is the policy of the program that no student enter a therapeutic relationship with a core clinical faculty member, nor a current clinical supervisor. Psychotherapy is available to you at the University of Saskatchewan Student Counselling Services at no charge. Services for students from the program are provided only by the staff psychologists and counsellors. The services provided are strictly confidential and no information is released to the program faculty except at the student's request. The following guidelines are in place to minimize the possibility of dual relationships occurring.

  1. Students completing a practicum placement at Student Counselling Services (SCS) will not be seen concurrently for psychotherapy. 
  2. Students who have completed a practicum at SCS are encouraged to make this fact known at the time of scheduling the initial appointment in order to avoid inadvertently scheduling an appointment with a former supervisor. 
  3. Students planning to do a practicum at SCS are encouraged to discuss the implications of entering therapy for the selection of supervisors for a future placement.

Feel free to talk to the Director of Clinical Training, your research or clinical supervisor, any other clinical faculty members, or your peers for more information.

See also:

Holzman, L.A., Searight, H.R., & Hughes, H.M. (1996). Clinical psychology graduate students and personal psychotherapy: Results of an exploratory survey. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 27, 98-101.

Other Recommended Resources

Books and Articles

Carter, L. A. & Barnett, J. E. (2014). Self-care for clinicians in training: A guide to psychological wellness for graduate students in psychology. Oxford University Press.

Norcross, J. C., & Guy, J. D. Jr. (2007). Leaving it at the office: A guide to psychotherapist self-care. Guilford.

Peters, R. (1997). Getting what you came for: The smart student’s guide to earning an M.A. or a Ph.D. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

Skovholt, T. M., & Trotter-Mathison, M. J. (2010). The resilient practitioner: Burnout prevention and self-care strategies for counselors, therapists, teachers, and health professionals. Routledge.

Wise, E. H., Hersh, M. A., & Gibson, C. M. (2012). Ethics, self-care, and well-being for psychologists: Reenvisioning the stress-distress continuum. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 43, 487-494. DOI: 10.1037/a0029446

Online Resources - Discussion & support group for graduate students - Online resources link from The Thesis Whisperer, edited by Dr. Inger Mewburn, Australian National University - Mentoring & self-care resources from the American Psychological Association