Therapists Speak About Self-Disclosure in Psychotherapy
Edited by Andrea Bloomgarden, Rosemary B. Mennuti
Routledge – 2009 – 303 pages
In this edited volume, the real dialogue begins. Therapists speak openly and honestly about their self-disclosure practices, decisions and clinical dilemmas. Bloomgarden and Mennuti bring together research, training and tales from their clinical experience to illuminate lessons derived from their own journeys toward judicious, balanced self-disclosure practices. In a readable fashion, the stories highlight a variety of self-disclosure and boundary issues that occur in the course of psychotherapy. Numerous treatment modalities and clinical orientations are represented.
The collective wisdom offered through these stories, which includes suggested guidelines and a standard of care for good practice, will assist the reader in developing a better understanding of what it means to self-disclose appropriately, recognizing a flexible middle ground between "too much" and "too little" along with responsiveness to client need. The Freudian based taboo that rigidly warns against all self-disclosure is antiquated, and a more reasonable, balanced perspective is under way. As a psychotherapeutic community, including psychologists, social workers, art therapists, counselors, dance/movement therapists who are all represented in this book, it is time to talk openly about a balanced, judicious, and therapeutically appropriate approach to self-disclosure and boundaries. Bravely, that is exactly what the authors in this book have done.
"Psychotherapist Revealed is a long-awaited and invaluable resource enabling all clinicians, from novice trainees to seasoned veterans, to understand how best to use themselves as tools to help others. It provides a combination of theory, research, and clinical experience to guide clinicians out of the dark and into the light regarding appropriate, growth fostering self-disclosure. In essence: a great gift to clinicians, but an even greater gift to our patients, and a must-read for any aspiring or practicing psychotherapist." -Margo Maine, PhD, FAED, author of Effective Clinical Treatment of Eating Disorders
"Therapists, supervisors and their clients will all benefit from the courage and wisdom captured in Psychotherapist Revealed. Breaking the silence on the subject of therapist authenticity, this volume invites us to more effectively learn what is truly helpful, what is not, and how to be present with our clients in a way that enhances their healing. This book should be on every therapist’s must-read list." -Judith V. Jordan, PhD; Director, Jean Baker Miller Training Institute
"Written by careful rebels and mindful trailblazers, Psychotherapist Revealed is thorough and wide-ranging. This book will help readers figure out where they stand on issues of self-disclosure and will give therapists guidelines for safe and ethical practice for when a patient and therapist find themselves off script." -Diana Fosha, PhD, Developer of AEDP, a transformation-based model of therapy, and co-editor of The Healing Power of Emotion:Affective Neuroscience, Development, Clinical Practice
"One of the very few scholarly book-length works on this topic. A valuable step in the direction of opening up the discourse about this disowned territory of psychotherapist behavior, one that is certain to reduce readers' shame and anxiety while raising interesting questions about when, why, and how to disclose personal information to clients. Informative and refreshing. It should provoke discussion, debate, and, I hope, further empirical investigation into the questions it raises." - Laura S. Brown, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 54, Release 47
"Psychotherapist Revealed finally breaks the awkward silence on the subject of therapist authenticity. It invites, and reveals, showing us how to be more effective in what is truly helpful, what is not, and how to be present with our clients in a way that enhances their healing. It is definitely a 'must-have' book to hold onto both physically and metaphorically in working with the self and self-disclosure." - Kate Lacy, The Independent Practitioner, Winter 2009
"A really marvelous book. It is full of moving case studies, which in some cases brought tears to my eyes. I loved this book, and would recommend it to anyone concerned with these issues. These are human beings writing for other human beings who happen to be therapists. Buy it!" - John Rowan in ACPNL Magazine, Issue 63, February 2010
Part I: Foundations. Bloomgarden, Mennuti, Therapist Self-Disclosure: Beyond the Taboo. Maroda, Less is More: An Argument for the Judicious Use of Self-Disclosure. Zur, Therapist Self-Disclosure: Standard of Care, Ethical Considerations and Therapeutic Context. Part II: Case Examples by Clinical Orientation & Clientele. Rabinor, Self-Disclosure as a Turning Point in Psychotherapy. Filetti, Mattei, To Share or Not to Share - Self-Disclosure in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. Prenn, I Second that Emotion! On Self-Disclosure and its Metaprocessing. Bloomgarden, Mennuti, Lessons Learned from Adolescent Girls. Malatesta, Behavioral Treatment of a Case Involving Obsessive Compulsive Hoarding: Case Formulation, The Therapeutic Relationship, and In Vivo Therapy. Nerenberg, Treating Addictions: A Balanced Approach to Boundaries and Therapist Self-Disclosure. Part III: Interface of Therapist and Client Ethnic/Racial/Cultural Factors. Laliotis, Attachment and Healing: An EMDR Relational Approach. Sparks, Learning to Be Authentic with Clients: The Untold Journey of a Relational Practitioner. Patton, Engendering a New Paradigm: Self-Disclosure with Queer Clients. Part IV: Treatment Variations. Gerstein, Family Therapist/Family Member: Family Dynamics at Work and at Home. Barber, The Perils of Rigid Adherence: A Look Back at a Group. McNiff, Creative Expression in Service of Others: Reflections on Transparency in Art Therapy Practice. Billock Tropea, The Therapeutic Relationship in Motion: A Dance/Movement Therapist's Perspective. Part V: Therapists Losses and Personal Challenges. Gottlieb, Bloomgarden, Mennuti, McCoubrey, Nobody Gets to See the Wizard: An Interview with Dan Gottlieb. Comstock, Confronting Life's Adversities: Self-Disclosure in Print and in Session. Treadway, For Your Client's Sake: Practicing Clinically Constructive Self-Disclosure. Part VI: Supervision, Best Practice Guidelines. Feindler, Padrone, Self-Disclosure in Clinical Supervision. Bloomgarden, Mennuti, Collective Wisdom for Good Practice: Themes for Consideration.