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DSC8883 - SECTION 6: REVIEW OF GUIDELINES FOR SELF-DISCLOSURE

Before moving on to other topics related to clinician self-disclosure, we will review some of the salient points in the previous material:

Be certain that the disclosure is really for the client’s benefit and not the clinician’s.

Make the point of the disclosure relevant to the client’s discussion.

Self-disclose for a definite purpose.

Make the disclosure brief and simple.

Use self-disclosure in moderation.

Do not allow self-disclosure to shift the focus of the session from the client to the clinician.

Maintain professional distance in the early stages of the relationship.

Establish trust and rapport before using self-disclosure as an intervention.

Use extreme caution when disclosing with clients who exhibit low self-esteem, weak reality testing, or other ego deficits that might make them prone to misinterpreting others.

Do not disclose experiences you have not previously examined.

Do not disclose information reflecting instability or incompetence.

Be alert to subtle social cues, for example, client discomfort at your self-disclosure.

Elicit feedback to all self-disclosures.

Do not use self-disclosure as a response to client disclosure. Rather, indicate that the disclosure has been heard with empathy.

As a general rule, disclose past rather than present events.

Do not interject a self-disclosure until the client is finished expressing their thought or feeling.

Do not use self-disclosure because you are uncomfortable with silence.

Employ critical self-examination if you disclose too often or inappropriately.

Be familiar with the contraindications for self-disclosure.

 

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