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Self Disclosure A Good Thing or Not

Self Disclosure A Good Thing or Not

One of the things that can cause the greatest consternation for new therapists is whether or not to self disclose about themselves to their clients. This is a rather thorny issue, maintaining a good rapport with clients is very important and sometimes it can be very helpful for clients to know that their therapist is not a perfect being and may have indeed gone through similar issues as the ones they presented with.

However, there is a counter argument which says that it it would not necessarily be a good thing to give too much away about the private life and experience of the therapist. It could be argued that the more information we give to our clients about ourselves the more potential there is for inappropriate transference. Transference can be a very helpful therapeutic technique, but it can have certain risks in the hands of practitioners who are not confident or skilled in its use.

So, there is a time and a place for self disclosure and as therapists get more experienced the more able they are to use this appropriately. I liken it to salt, a little brings up flavour and too much makes a disk inedible. The same is true with self disclosure a little can be helpful, but too much makes the process less than helpful.

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