What is it about?

Therapist self-disclosure can be further complicated by the internet, particularly in sensitive areas such as sexual orientation. This article explores the experiences of two gay and two lesbian psychotherapists who have had their previously undisclosed sexual orientation introduced by clients into the client's therapy, referred to as client-initiated disclosure. The exploration considers the therapist's sexual identity, their experience of the client-initiated disclosure, and the subsequent effect on the therapeutic relationship.

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Why is it important?

The traditional understanding of the boundaries of therapist self-disclosure is challenged by the internet. The impact on psychotherapy remains an area which is under-researched. This article identifies that counsellors and psychotherapists need to consider how their personal usage of the internet may impact their professional identity.

Perspectives

I hope this article helps you to reflect on and engage in research into self-disclosure in this age of the internet. I also hope this article increases your interest in the use of narrative for undertaking research in counselling and psychotherapy.

Mr Alan Stuart McPherson

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This page is a summary of: Client‐initiated disclosure of psychotherapists' sexual orientation: A narrative inquiry, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, October 2019, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/capr.12274.
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