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Title: An investigation into the experiences and attitudes regarding therapists' verbal self-disclosure from the developing counselling psychologists' perspective : a phenomenological study
Author: Vasileiadou, Aikaterini
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 6740
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2012
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This study explores the phenomenon of therapists’ verbal self-disclosure in the therapeutic encounter. The purpose is to examine the clients’ experiences and attitudes on therapists’ verbal self-disclosure, when the clients are counselling psychology trainees or newly qualified counselling psychologists. The present study will attempt to discover what the participants believe constitutes self-disclosure and how influential their therapists’ verbal self-disclosure or lack of it, has been in the development of their personal and professional stance on self-disclosure in their own work with clients. Since the researcher is interested in clients who themselves are developing counselling psychologists, the study sheds light on how their therapists’ verbal disclosure (or lack of it) influences their developing professional identity. The majority of studies exploring therapists’ self-disclosure have favoured quantitative methodologies; however, a case can be made for using a qualitative phenomenological approach to explore this phenomenon on the grounds that it provides a more detailed representation of the experience and allows for an in-depth phenomenological understanding of the complexity and content of self-disclosure. Nine developing counselling psychologists were interviewed for this study and the three major findings of the study are that a) developing counselling psychologists, influenced by their own personal therapy, do engage in counter-transference self-disclosure, b) the decision to engage in self-disclosure or not is made upon their intuition and ‘gut feeling’ and c) although training institutions or supervisors might not encourage self-disclosure, participants still engage in it. These findings raise questions concerning the role of training versus the role of personal therapy in shaping trainees’ client work, as well as issues regarding the reasons why they chose to self-disclose or not and the role of intuition.
Supervisor: Dubowski, Janek ; Moon, Lyndsey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: counselling psychology ; verbal self-disclosure ; professional identity