The transformative process of the bereaved therapist.

This article explores the experience of the bereaved therapist in an attempt to understand what it is like to be a psychotherapist following personal loss and how the transformation of “becoming” the bereaved therapist unfolds. It is a reflective first-person account of the author’s experience of personal loss set within the context of other bereaved therapists’ stories and against the backdrop of relevant literature. The author uses her story along with the shared reflections of others to discuss the complex interplay in the dynamic processes involved in the intrapsychic and intersubjective world of the bereaved therapist, pulling out the intricacies of healing and growth for the bereaved therapist within the social relational exchange of therapist and client. Influenced by intersubjectivity theory, interpersonal neurobiology, and contemporary bereavement studies, the author considers the bereaved therapist’s capacity for connection in the therapeutic relationship, the way in which loss inevitably enters the unconscious intersubjective domain of the bereaved therapist, and the construction of a postloss identity as a psychotherapist. She reflects on how her thinking has developed and changed in her journey of “becoming” the bereaved therapist, and concludes the article with a portrayal of the transformative outcome of personal loss on her “self-as-therapist.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)