Therapeutic Self Disclosure

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Conclusions We reconcile the two opposing sides of the larger debate on self-disclosure by concluding that what makes disclosures ethical and efficacious may not be significantly different from what makes any other intervention ethical and efficacious. In the disclosure research, it was noted that clients tended to respond favorably to therapist disclosures that were based on appropriate professional consideration of their unique circumstances and needs within a complex therapeutic relational framework. Clients (both real and simulated) tended to respond negatively to disclosures that appeared poorly timed, poorly attuned, or were clearly inappropriate for clinical and/or ethical reasons. In either circumstance, therapist self-awareness…show more content…
It is possible if not likely that the nature and function of therapeutic relationships has changed significantly to better account for the contemporary understanding of mental illnesses as less categorical and more broadly conceptualized as spectrum disorders with variable constellations of symptoms (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Broader considerations of cultural factors, comorbidity, and resource deprivation may account for occurrences within the therapeutic relationship as much as genuine psychopathology. Thus, it may be less important to base self-disclosure decisions and content on pre-determined rules or client diagnosis and more important for disclosure/non-disclosure decisions to first consider prominent clinical and vulnerability…show more content…
In cases of significant client paranoia, it is possible and even likely that overt attempts at engagement (such as self-disclosure) may be experienced as threatening more so than connecting. In contrast, non-disclosure and some extent of mirroring may help to encourage a basic level of initial comfort if not modulated-paranoid anxiety. In cases of borderline personality, self-disclosure may reinforce poor boundaries and encourage enmeshment. As an alternative, non-disclosure may help to model appropriate boundaries, encourage gradual relationship development, and teach frustration tolerance. When clients present with narcissism or antisocial personality, self-disclosure may be interpreted as a sign of weakness while non-disclosure may symbolize clinically appropriate forms of strength and non-suggestibility. In scenarios of active psychosis, self-disclosure may be contra-indicated when client behavior or self-reports suggests vulnerability to incorporating and negatively responding to external stimuli. In cases where psychotic clients demonstrate relatively non or less problematic interpersonal boundaries, self-disclosure may momentarily encourage if not

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