The Attitudes of Postgraduate Counseling Students to Mandatory Personal Therapy in Selected Universities in Nairobi County, Kenya


Personal Therapy is an important aspect of most counselors’ training worldwide. Being made mandatory can generate negative attitudes among postgraduate counseling students. This study thus investigated the attitudes of postgraduate counseling students to mandatory personal therapy in selected universities in Nairobi County, Kenya. A mixed methods concurrent design was adopted in the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data using online questionnaire and interview guides respectively. The target population was all 635 postgraduate (Masters and Doctorate) clinical psychology and counseling psychology students from four universities and university constituent colleges in Nairobi County, Kenya. The sample size was 255 consisting of 245 postgraduate students of clinical and counseling psychology, 5 counselor educators, and 5 professional counselors. Quantitative data was analyzed descriptively using frequencies and percentages while qualitative data was analyzed using content and thematic analysis. Findings of the study showed that majority (90%) of postgraduate counseling students had a positive attitude towards mandatory personal therapy; there was initial negative attitude of reluctance and resistance by 52% of the postgraduate counseling students; the postgraduate counseling students owe their change of negative attitudes to psychoeducation from their lecturers and therapists as well as therapeutic alliance formed with their therapists. It is, however, worrisome to find some postgraduate counseling students engage in unethical practice of disingenuousness such as obtaining a fake letter of personal therapy. It is more worrisome to find some professional therapists cooperating in such unethical practice. This needs to be critically and ethically addressed by the counseling training universities.




Personal therapy, mandatory personal therapy, attitude, disingenuousness, attitudinal change, therapeutic alliance, psychoeducation, therapy letter.