Psychotherapists have long debated about the personal and educational experiences that best prepare one for success in their profession. Does some precise combination of genetic endowment and training enable one to thrive as a psychotherapist? Are early experiences important? What about thepsychotherapist's own psychotherapy? These are issues of significance not only to mental health professionals but also to those who rely on the quality of their services. On Becoming a Psychotherapist explores how psychotherapists develop as practitioners through both professional training and the training that can only be obtained through personal experience. Drawing on the expertise of acknowledged leaders in the field, each chapter examines a particular set ofpersonal experiences or educational pursuits that impacts psychotherapist development and practice. Among those considered are the relevant life events of psychotherapists that occur both prior to undertaking clinical work and as their careers evolve; the importance of supervision and mentoring; thecontribution of one's personal treatment experiences; the incorporation of research findings into one's therapeutic approach; and the socio-economic and cultural contexts that influence therapist development. Shedding light on how these components are effectively organized and integrated intoprofessional practice, the book addresses current controversies that surround what constitutes the optimal set of experiences and characteristics for the developing psychotherapist. The result is a vital resource for directors of training, clinical supervisors, and psychotherapists interested inunderstanding how and why they have become the clinicians they are today.