The use of autobiography in psychotherapy
Article first published online: 27 JAN 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 59, Issue 2, pages 197–205, February 2003
How to Cite
Sommer, R. (2003), The use of autobiography in psychotherapy. J. Clin. Psychol., 59: 197–205. doi: 10.1002/jclp.10146
- Issue published online: 27 JAN 2003
- Article first published online: 27 JAN 2003
First-person narratives may have advantages as adjuncts in psychotherapy. They provide an inside view of mental disorders expressed in the person's own words, emphasize issues that the person deems important, are interesting to read with strong story lines, are less didactic than self-help books, and offer identification with a protagonist. Recent trends in published autobiographies are described. There has been an increase in the number of published autobiographies describing mood disorder relative to schizophrenia, of psychotherapists going public with personal experiences of mental disorder, and of books expressing a positive view of treatment. The article includes case vignettes and a practitioner-recommended list of autobiographies on addictive disorders, death and grieving, and mood disorders. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol/In Session 59: 197–205, 2003.