INTRODUCTION: The Therapeutic Potential of Self-Disclosure

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Date: Jan. 2019
From: Psychiatric Times(Vol. 36, Issue 1)
Publisher: Intellisphere, LLC
Document Type: Article
Length: 473 words
Lexile Measure: 1540L

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Our own self-disclosure has had a long and complex history.

As psychoanalysis developed a century ago, Freud recommended being a "blank screen" to patients, including sitting behind them out of direct eye contact. Even if he didn't always follow his own advice in providing psychotherapy, the theoretical rationale was that this therapeutic framework would allow patients to best focus on themselves. (1) It could also help to keep proper ethical boundaries between patient and therapist. Confidentiality became a primary ethical principle.

As time went on and psychotherapy developed, this stricture loosened with the realization that some carefully chosen personal self-disclosure could have therapeutic potential. (2) Nevertheless, this increasing self-disclosure with patients did not necessarily extend to colleagues, nor...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A574177351