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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Self-disclosure behaviors of psychologists: A comparison of psychologists and psychological trainees across specialties
by Constance, Janet E., Ph.D., Saint Louis University, 2008, 126; 3351877
Abstract (Summary)

The current study examined the frequency of therapist self-disclosure among psychological trainees and psychologists, evaluated their beliefs about the ethics of various types of self-disclosure behaviors, and investigated their rationales for and against self-disclosure. Five hundred and thirteen psychological trainees were recruited from clinical and counseling psychology Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs, and 165 clinical and counseling psychologists were recruited via APA's Division listservs to complete the Web-based survey. Participants were asked to answer the questions, “What is the frequency of this type of self-disclosure in your practice?” and “To what extent do you consider this disclosure ethical?” for 38 types of self-disclosure. Findings revealed that psychological trainees and psychologists self-disclosed infrequently during psychotherapeutic work, and viewed only a small number of self-disclosures to be ethical a majority of the time. The frequency of their self-disclosure and beliefs about the ethics of self-disclosure varied significantly based on the type of personal information shared. Participants viewed information related to professional functioning as the most ethical to disclose, and shared this type of information with their clients most frequently. Conversely, personal information of a sexual nature was viewed as the least ethical to disclose, and was subsequently disclosed very rarely. Moreover, results indicated that psychological trainees and psychologists differed in terms of their beliefs about the ethics of self-disclosure and their self-disclosure frequency. Trainee specialty and theoretical orientation of trainees significantly impacted their beliefs about self-disclosure and their self-disclosure frequency for a limited number of items, but did not influence the psychologists' views or frequency of self-disclosure. In neither case did participant gender significantly impact beliefs about the ethics of self-disclosure or the frequency of self-disclosure.

Indexing (document details)
School: Saint Louis University
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-B 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Counselor self-disclosure, Ethics, Frequency, Psychologists, Self-disclosure, Therapist self-disclosure, Trainees
Publication Number: 3351877
ISBN: 978-1-109-08606-5
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