Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Committee Chair(s)

Megan Oka


Megan Oka


Stephen Fife


Kay Bradford


Research has indicated that there are certain ingredients that make therapy successful. One of these ingredients may be the actual therapist providing the therapy. The concept of a person’s way of being appears in some literature, but the concept of therapist way of being has not been well developed and explored. The purpose of this study was to form a definition of therapist way of being, to gain an understanding of how way of being influences a client’s change in therapy, and to describe and ways of being that are beneficial and detrimental to a client’s journey of change.

Data were collected from panelists, who were all licensed clinicians and all reported being at least somewhat familiar with the concept of way of being. The results of the study include a proposed definition of way of being, descriptions of ways of being that promote and deter client change, questions that might be asked of a therapist to better understand his or her way of being, potential responses to these questions that might indicate a change-promoting or change-deterring way of being, and lastly, suggestions for future research on therapist way of being.