Therapist self-disclosure is an issue that has been long discussed in psychology and for current therapists knowing when, what, and how much to disclose is a challenge. The goal of this study was to investigate how various extents of information, related to a therapist’s previous struggles with mental health issues, impacted the client’s overall perception of that therapist. This study predicted a curvilinear relationship between extent of disclosure and client perception of the therapist. The hypothesis was that a mild extent of disclosure would be seen more favorably than no disclosure, a moderate extent would be even more favorable, and an extreme extent would be seen around the same level of favorable as a mild extent. Vignettes, manipulation check questions, a client perception questionnaire, and demographic questions were given to undergraduates in a Psychology class in order to emulate clients in therapy. A between-subjects, one-way ANOVA was conducted on the four conditions (no disclosure, mildly extensive, moderately extensive, and extremely extensive) and overall client perception. Findings indicated that there was a significant difference between the no disclosure and the moderately extensive disclosure conditions. There is a curvilinear trend, but it was not significant. This means that participants saw therapists who disclose information about a similar diagnosis and symptoms they struggled with in a more positive light than therapists who disclose nothing.
|Commitee:||Ro, Eunyoe, Segrist, Dan|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ethics, Psychology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Client perception, Extent, Extra-therapy disclosure, Mental health, Self-disclosure|
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