There is a rich body of literature that details the effects therapists have on their patients. Little attention has, however, been given to the impact of training and working as a professional psychologist on the close personal relationships (CPR) of practitioners. The aim of this study was to explore the subjective experience of the impact of clinical psychology training on trainee psychologists' intrapersonal development and subsequently their CPR in the South African context. Three key relationships the trainees' relationships with their family, friends and romantic partners were the focus of the research. Seven second year clinical psychology master's students were selected using non-probability, purposive sampling to participate in individual semi-structured interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was used to identify and analyse themes in the data both within and across the seven interviews. Six main themes were identified and the findings indicate the participants perceive the impact of training on their CPR to be primarily beneficial. This is despite experiencing difficulties in some of their relationships as a result of training. Relationships with romantic partners benefitted from improved communication and some became deeper and more meaningful, although two ended. Participants faced both gains and losses in terms of friends while the intensity and shared experience of training rapidly made classmate relationships extremely important and close. Some participants gained a better understanding of family members and their family's functioning. Training also opened up some relationships by providing a point of connection between certain participants and their parents. The participants rely significantly on all their CPR for social support but support from family is most salient. Finally some implications for training were evoked by the interwoven nature of personal and professional development demonstrated by the study.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.