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

Beetham, Tanya and Pope, Kirstie (2019). Sustaining selfhood and embracing ‘selves’ in psychology: Risks, vulnerabilities and sustaining relationships. In: Randall, James ed. Surviving Clinical Psychology: How to make the most of your journey to qualification. London: Routledge, pp. 182–187.



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?

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions
No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions