Self-Disclosure and Immediacy

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date



Oxford University Press

Source Publication

Psychotherapy Relationships That Work

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1093/med-psych/9780190843953.003.0011


We conducted a qualitative meta-analysis of 21 studies that examined the clinical consequences of therapist self-disclosure (TSD) and immediacy (Im) in psychotherapy. The most frequent consequences were enhanced therapy relationship, improved client functioning, gain in insight, and overall helpfulness, suggesting that the consequences are mostly positive and therapeutic. TSD was associated more often with improved mental health functioning, more overall helpfulness, and more enhanced therapy relationships, whereas Im was associated more often with clients opening up and being more immediate. The chapter concludes with limitations of the research, diversity considerations, and research-informed recommendations for judiciously using TSD and Im in practice.


"Self-Disclosure and Immediacy" in Psychotherapy Relationships That Work. Eds. John C. Norcross and Michael J. Lambert. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019: 379-420. DOI.