European American Therapist Self-Disclosure in Cross-Cultural Counseling

Alan Burkard, Marquette University
Sarah Knox, Marquette University
Michael Groen, Marquette University
Shirley Hess, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Accepted version. Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 53, No. 1 (January 2006): 15-25. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0167.53.1.15. © 2006 American Psychological Association. Used with permission.


Eleven European American psychotherapists' use of self-disclosure in cross-cultural counseling was studied using consensual qualitative research. As reasons for self-disclosing, therapists reported the intent to enhance the counseling relationship, acknowledge the role of racism/oppression in clients' lives, and acknowledge their own racist/oppressive attitudes. Results indicated that therapists typically shared their reactions to clients' experiences of racism or oppression and that these self-disclosures typically had positive effects in therapy, often improving the counseling relationship by helping clients feel understood and enabling clients to advance to other important issues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)