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Title: Clients' experience of therapist self disclosure within a CBT context : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Rabassa, Marianne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 1826
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
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The appropriateness of therapist self disclosure varies according to theoretical perspectives regarding the role of the therapeutic relationship. Psychodynamic theory relates therapist self disclosure to its impact on the interpretation of transference, Humanistic theory to the genuineness of the therapeutic encounter. In contrast CBT theory traditionally sees the relationship as secondary to technical interventions, the use of self disclosure in this context therefore remaining minimally explored. However, emerging opinion suggests that the therapeutic relationship is perhaps more relevant than has traditionally been suggested. Existing literature exploring this topic has remained on the whole quantitative, and not specifically related to a particular theory. The following research therefore has aimed to identify the client's opinion of therapist self-disclosure and embed this within a CBT context. A qualitative approach was used to produce a subjective account of how therapist self disclosure is experienced by the client and how this relates to assumptions of the role of the relationship within CBT. Nine participants were interviewed following therapy from within a secondary mental health care setting. Six had experienced CBT therapy. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, data was interpreted relating to existing theory regarding the role of the therapist within CBT and interpersonal schemas of self-other relationships. Five themes were identified along three domains that identified therapist self disclosure as helpful, non disclosure as helpful and self disclosure as unhelpful. The themes identified that therapist self disclosure was experienced in the context of existing schemas of the self and the therapist and assumptions of the self in relation to another, impacting on their own disclosure and engagement with therapy. A definition also emerged of therapist self disclosure that related more to the genuine knowing of the therapist both explicitly and implicitly. These findings contribute to existing literature that places the relationship and technical interventions within CBT as more inextricable from each other. Additionally, the appropriateness of self disclosure had a transient quality, and did not remain consistent throughout the experience of therapy. Implications for practice include exploring the impact of one's choice of interventions with clients and formulating an individual on a wider level, incorporating interpersonal schemas and their possible impact on the relationship and therapy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available