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A Review of Therapist Self-Disclosure in the Psychoanalytic and Gestalt Literature

24 July 2006


Therapist self-disclosure is one of the most controversial topics in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Self-disclosure in the psychoanalytic and Gestalt literature was reviewed. The author hypothesized that the literature would not provide a framework or therapeutic stance for conceptualizing self-disclosure as an intersubjective process. Included in the scope of this review were published book chapters and journal articles on classical psychoanalytic, intersubjective/relational psychoanalytic, and Gestalt theories. The hypothesis was confirmed and an integrative framework consisting of psychoanalytic theory and the Gestalt principles of field theory, phenomenology, and dialogue was proposed to provide a therapeutic stance and to understand self-disclosure as a continuous and inevitable intersubjective process.


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