Does therapist self-disclosure enhance or distract from the client experience? An exploration of the ethical implications of therapist self-disclosure on therapeutic boundaries

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Treacy, Eimear
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Therapist self-disclosure and its impact on the client experience has attracted increased attention across the psychotherapeutic literature in recent years. This paper discusses the use of therapist self-disclosure in the context of the ethical treatment of clients, the implications for therapeutic boundaries and the appropriate use within the psychotherapeutic setting. Perspectives on therapist self-disclosure vary but, rather than avoid the use of self-disclosure, the research proposes that the client’s experience can be enhanced through the successful integration of appropriate, relevant and timely self-disclosures by the therapist. Author Keywords: Therapist Self-Disclosure, Therapeutic Boundaries, Psychotherapy