Disclosure to therapists: What is and is not discussed in psychotherapy

Authors

  • Barry A. Farber,

    Corresponding author
    1. Teachers College, Columbia University
    • Barry A. Farber, Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Box 57, 525 West 120th St., Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027; e-mail: bf39@columbia.edu
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  • Desnee Hall

    1. Teachers College, Columbia University
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Abstract

This study used the 80-item Disclosure to Therapist Inventory—R to investigate the nature of patient disclosure within therapy. Participants (45 men, 102 women) were all currently in therapy. A Principal Components Analyses with varimax rotation yielded nine meaningful factors; mean disclosure scores were lowest for the factors of Sexuality and Procreation and highest for the factors of Negative Affect and Intimacy. Specific items most extensively discussed included characteristics of parents that are disliked, and aspects of one's personality that are disliked or worrisome. No significant differences were found in overall degree of disclosure as a function of patient gender or shame-proneness; disclosure was, however, found to be positively correlated with strength of the therapeutic alliance. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 58: 359–370, 2002.

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