Self-disclosure utilized in a dyadic interview as an intervention in a military community mental health system

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Smedi, Keith John
Dimick, Kenneth M.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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In this study the position was taken that therapist self-disclosure could be utilized as an intake interview intervention. It was believed that initiating a working therapeutic relationship would appear to require the ability to collect pertinent and reliable information from the client. Mutual self-disclosure is an important vehicle for enchance the therapeutic relationship (Curtis, 1981; Jourard, 1971). Self-disclosure assists therapists in obtaining vital client information and in establishing a strong, trusting, clinical relationship (Curtis, 1981). The utilization of self-disclosure between client and therpaist serves (Jourard & Friedman, 1970) as encouragement for success and growth in therapy and thus "encourages the development of trust" (Curtis, 1981, p. 502). Moreover, the client is expected to disclose personal information often in a setting in which he/she knows little about the trustworthiness of his therapist that presumes immediacy and accuracy without trust.."the patient's own disclosures, with which the therapists can recognize, identify, and articulate counter-productive patterns, cannot be assured inasmuch as the patient might not be motivated to reveal such personal information without at least receiving the impression of the therapist's reciprocity" (Curtis, 1981, pp. 502, 503).