ABSTRACT

This chapter summarizes the issues and tasks that emerge in the development of professional identity. An important step in developing a professional identity is to begin to differentiate our role in personal relationships from our professional role. The theme in all of the suggested areas for professional growth related to this task is the development of mindful self-awareness, noticing our experience without reacting to or judging it. Mindful self-awareness is related to the ability to integrate all aspects of our experience physical, intellectual, and emotional. There is a paradox inherent in developing confidence in our authority and professionalism. Metacompetence requires introspection and self-assessment as well as access to supervisors and others who can provide guidance, and it includes being open to balanced evaluative feedback, differentiating personal and professional roles, and holding a developmental perspective. As the author's develop more tools and skills professionally, they often find themselves taking those clinical skills into their personal relationships.