An investigation of therapist self-disclosure in the therapeutic and supervisory contexts
Introduction: Therapist self-disclosure within the therapeutic context has been the subject of discussion since early on in the history of psychotherapy. However, therapist self-disclosure can also be viewed within the context of supervision. There would now appear to be a movement towards acknowledging the benefits of self-disclosure within both contexts and the investigation of factors involved would seem appropriate for investigation. Literature review: The literature review suggested that therapist self- disclosure was facilitated and inhibited by a number of different mechanisms e. g. alliance. Supervisee self-disclosure within supervision appeared largely a function of the development of a good supervisory relationship with supervising therapist self-disclosure and therapist self-disclosure within the therapeutic dyad being much more about personal choice and style. Research report: Given that self-disclosure and discussion of clinical mistakes is felt within clinical psychology to be beneficial to the learning and development of trainee clinical psychologists an `online' questionnaire study based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was devised. The purposes of the study were to assess trainee clinical psychologists' intention to disclose personal clinical mistakes in supervision and whether intention was associated with the strength of supervisory relationship and team climate. The TPB was found to predict intention to disclose personal clinical mistakes in supervision. No other variables were found to add significantly to the model of prediction. However, intention was associated with a number of other variables including supervisory rapport. Critical Appraisal: An appraisal of the research process is submitted with discussion of methodological limitations, clinical implications and possible areas for future research.