Q: This is more like an “academic” question, to which I needed an answer by a professional. Do you think that in order to be a therapist, it is necessary that someone naturally have a strong insight into other people; meaning an inborn ability to guess their personality characteristics and psychological states based on limited information? Or is this a skill that can be acquired through studying and experience?

A: It’s a skill that can be developed and it’s also a skill that I think some people bring into the profession even before they get any training. I especially think that people who enter the profession later in life (30’s plus..) tend to bring a lot of this with them.

A much more important characteristic, however, is whether the therapist is good at looking at their own foibles and problems and working them through with or without a therapist of their own along the way. Self-awareness is even more important than understanding the client’s problems intellectually.

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