American Psychological Association
We review definitions and provide case examples of therapist self-disclosure (TSD) and immediacy (Im). We then present a qualitative meta-analysis of 21 studies that examined the subsequent process following TSD and Im in psychotherapy (excluding analogue and correlational studies). Across the 21 studies, the most frequent subsequent processes were enhanced therapy relationship, improved client mental health functioning, gains in insight, and overall helpfulness, suggesting that most often TSD and Im were followed by positive and beneficial therapeutic processes. In additional analyses, TSD was associated more often with improved mental health functioning, overall helpfulness, and enhanced therapy relationships, whereas Im was associated more often with clients opening up and being immediate. We also consider possible moderating variables, including client contributions and diversity issues. The article concludes with research-informed recommendations for judiciously using TSD and Im in practice.
Hill, Clara E.; Knox, Sarah; and Pinto-Coelho, Kristen, "Therapist Self-Disclosure and Immediacy: A Qualitative Meta-Analysis" (2018). Psychology Faculty Research and Publications. 441.
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