Unexpected Growth in The Path of Uncertainty: Psychotherapy as a Case Example

The current paper ties together theory development and transformation in action to explore the phenomenon of a high increase in people attending psychotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time hallmarked by the saying "during these uncertain times." Throughout the global pandemic, while many lost jobs, psychotherapists experienced a boom in clients. It has been suggested that at the most fundamental level, it is uncertainty that prompts individuals to seek health-related care. This makes sense considering a sense of uncertainty is associated with increased curiosity and motivation to learn. Mishel’s Reconceptualized Uncertainty in Illness Theory suggests that people must disorganize and reorganize previously held information regarding uncertainty in order to form new ways of viewing life. Similarly, Transformative Learning is described as "the process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience in order to guide future action." Through combining my lived experience as a psychotherapist and that of fellow psychotherapists during the pandemic with the literature on uncertainty, development and transformational learning the current paper will offer a working theory of the experience of increased psychotherapy clients amidst such immense uncertainty and any potential connections to growth and transformational learning.

Format: Roundtable Session


Chaparrelle Mogavero-Cline, Teachers College Columbia University, New York
Session Date & Time: Sat, 09 Apr 2022 | 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM EDT