The transparent leader: Exploring the ethics and implications of group therapist self-disclosure
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Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This dissertation focused on therapist self-disclosure in a group therapy setting. Therapist self-disclosure refers to any action on the part of the therapist which reveals personal information about him / herself. It has been suggested that the group therapist frequently comes under pressure to provide personal information or admissions of error. However, perspectives vary with regard to the need for, and appropriateness of, therapist self-disclosure. Moreover, there is a paucity of literature pertaining to group therapist self-disclosure. Where guidelines have been provided, there is a tendency to be vague. In order to explore this issue, the current dissertation examined ethical and theoretical perspectives (particularly relating to psychoanalysis) which have greatly influenced group work (e.g., that of Bion and Foulkes). Ultimately it has been argued that to engage in therapist self-disclosure is to obstruct the group's growth and potential for autonomy and self-cure. Therefore, striving for therapist anonymity, neutrality, and abstinence are recommended.