Psychotherapy expertise in Singapore: A qualitative investigation

Len Jennings, Vilma D'Rozario, Michael P Goh, Ashley Sovereign, Megan Brogger, Thomas M Skovholt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Personal characteristics, developmental influences, and therapy practices of nine peer-nominated expert psychotherapists practicing in the diverse country of Singapore were identified using qualitative methods. Sixteen themes were organized within four categories: (a) personal characteristics (empathic, nonjudgmental, respectful); (b) developmental influences (experience, self-awareness, humility, self-doubt); (c) approach to practice (balance between support and challenge, flexible therapeutic stance, empowerment/strength-based approach, primacy of the therapeutic alliance, comfortable addressing spirituality, embraces working within a multicultural context); and (d) ongoing professional growth (professional development practices, benefits of teaching/training others, challenges to professional development in Singapore). Cross-cultural comparisons between this study and Jennings and Skovholt's (1999) study of Minnesota expert psychotherapists found considerable overlap of themes. Implications for research and practice of psychotherapy are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-522
Number of pages15
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 24 2008


  • Brief psychotherapy
  • Long-term psychotherapy
  • Outcome research
  • Process research
  • Psychotherapist training/supervision/development
  • Qualitative research methods


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