In this book, "What brings you here?" - the standard opening question asked in therapy - is posed to therapists themselves. It is a study of the unconscious factors that contribute to the decision to become a psychotherapist. Regardless of primary discipline, a major determinant of this career choice is the wish to resolve one's own emotional problems. When understood and mastered, however, such difficulties allow therapists to be more effective. Those who have experienced and borne emotional pain have an enhanced capacity to empathize with it and to understand it in others. Sussman approaches therapists' motives from drive, self, and object relations theory. Some of the dynamics are: sadistic and masochistic tendencies, maternal identification, strong narcissistic needs for omnipotence, sensitivity to the unconscious needs of others, strong dependency needs, and unconscious rescue fantasies. Each therapist presents a unique combination of underlying dynamics contributing to the desire to practice psychotherapy. Some determinants promote the therapeutic process, while others are neurotic (or psychotic) and are potentially destructive. There are hidden dangers for therapists when their motives remain unexplored. One of these hazards is that practitioners are at greater risk for burnout. By recognizing and mastering the pathological sources of their wish to heal, psychotherapists can ultimately heal their own wounds and achieve a more loving and creative helping capacity.Sussman, Michael S. is the author of 'Curious Calling' with ISBN 9780876685167 and ISBN 0876685165.