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Self-Disclosure Essay

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  • Feb. 2007
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Therapist Self-Disclosure 1

Running head: THERIPIST SELF-DISCLOSURE IN GROUP THERAPY

Therapist Self-Disclosure 2
Abstract
The effects that counselor self-disclosure can have on group members and the appropriateness of when to use self disclosure will be explained in this paper. The author will discuss the ethical dilemmas that may arise when counselors divulge too much information, as well as a discussion of what the client's perceptions may be of such disclosure and the positive and negative effects that this may have on therapy.

Therapist Self-Disclosure 3
The Pro's and Cons of
Self-Disclosure and Other Boundary Issues
In mental health practice, a commonly held view is that therapist self-disclosure should be discouraged and its dangers closely monitored (Rose 1980). Group psychotherapists may, just like other members in the group, openly share their thoughts and feelings in a judicious and responsible manner, respond to others authentically, and acknowledge or refute motives and feelings attributed to them. In other words, therapists, too, can reveal their feelings, the reasons for some of their behaviors, acknowledge the blind spots, and demonstrate respect for the feedback group members offer them. Counselor self-disclosure is a way of sharing ones experiences with the clients and can have both positive and negative results (Cross & Papadopoulos 2001). There is something about the personal experience that assists counselors to being especially attentive to the needs of the recovering client. On the other hand, counselors bringing personal experience with them are likely to raise personal boundary issues. In order to remain ethical, the first question the therapist must ask is why am I self-disclosing? If it is to serve the needs of the counselor in any way, or to create an instant client-counselor bond without trying anything else, then it is probably unethical. One of the ethical principals is to do everything for the good...

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