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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The lived experience of the personal iceberg metaphor of therapists in satir’s systemic brief therapy training Lum, Wendy Diane


The purpose of this study was to discover how therapists understood and experienced the Personal Iceberg Metaphor from Satir's systemic brief therapy training program. This metaphor provided a framework for insight into the internal world of the person. Nine therapists (seven women and two men) whose ages were between 35-61 years old, participated in the study. Participants must have completed 120 hours of Satir's systemic brief therapy training, which included the beginner and the advanced level programs. A phenomenological approach was used for the procedure on how to interview participants and on how to analyze the data which was gathered. The researcher conducted two interviews with each participant over a seven month period. Five common themes emerged which highlighted the lived experience of the participants. The lived experience of the Personal Iceberg Metaphor: (1) facilitates awareness, (2) is an integration process of externalization towards internalization, (3) fosters acceptance, (4) facilitates change, and (5) fosters spiritual development and connection to Self: I am. The inner world and process of therapists was surfaced and explored. The participants experienced intrapsychic and interactive impacts and changes. The descriptions within each theme have illustrated the growth and development of the participant as a person and as a therapist. The findings of this study illustrates how therapists have positively changed through their involvement and exploration with the Personal Iceberg Metaphor within Satir's systemic brief therapy training. The findings from this research offer recommendations for counselling research and practice in the area of personal and professional development for therapists.

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