Self Disclosure and Hypnotherapy
There is a lot of talk in our profession about how much, if at all, should a therapist disclose about themselves in the sessions they conduct. If one were to look at Person Centred Therapy, as espoused by Dr Carl Rogers, there is definitely a place for self disclosure in the therapeutic processes.
I found a video clip today from a US television reality show where three people go to see a hypnotist to stop smoking. During the consultation the hypnotist breaks off and apologises for being so tired as he changed his hours because he cannot sleep since he was robbed and assaulted. The “subjects” seem distressed by this revelation, and why would they not be. When describing almost dying and his mother coming to identify his body, that is a very disturbing image.
There is a time and a place for everything, but this revelation had no place in this session as it had no relevance to what the people came in to do. It is essential that when utilising self disclosure, that a therapist does so to assist the client to move forward. This should not be an exercise in self aggrandising for the therapist. Remember, in the Person Centred Model, the client is the most important person in the room and the therapist is a facilitator. Therapists need to check their ego at the door before doing any therapeutic work with clients.