Sustaining selfhood and embracing ‘selves’ in psychology: risks, vulnerabilities and sustaining relationships

Tanya Beetham, Kirstie Pope

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores identity and the notion of multiple ‘selves’ in learning and teaching contexts in psychology. Jointly, we reflect critically on the existence of our multiple identities in relation to those around us. We explore the vulnerabilities we must embrace and the risks we must take in order to develop meaningful relationships and sustain our ‘selves’. This chapter highlights the different identities that can exist, focusing specifically on student, teacher, client and therapist positions, whilst also discussing which parts of us are prioritised, and consequently, which parts are silenced or erased.

This chapter highlights the need to create spaces for vulnerabilities. We explore the vulnerability of risk taking and we highlight the opportunities that arise if the idea that vulnerabilities are inherently risky, is challenged, and even resisted. It is suggested that embracing these ‘risks’ could in turn allow for more meaningful experiences, supportive relationships and facilitate relational depth, enrichment and growth. By embracing these vulnerabilities and risks, we are able to more whole-heartedly embrace and sustain every part of our selves and support others to do the same. This chapter offers some hopeful opportunities for dialogue: how can we embrace the challenge of learning collectively, and how can we establish a sense of collective care?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSurviving Clinical Psychology: How to make the most of your journey to qualification.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780429428968
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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