The cracks where the light gets in: Exploring therapist transformation following the loss of a family member to suicide.

Limited research has addressed the impact of personal loss on psychotherapists’ practice and professional identities. The goal of this article is to share a first-person account of my experience after losing a family member to suicide, focusing particularly on ways in which this loss impacted my professional identity and practice as a psychotherapist. Three primary themes are discussed, including (a) the challenges of integrating this personal experience into my professional identity; (b) my enhanced awareness of traditional masculine gender roles in psychotherapy; and (c) processes related to the experience of self-compassion and how this has impacted my practice of psychotherapy. These themes are discussed in the context of my professional development and transformation as a psychotherapist following this loss. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)