Some Clients Ask Clinicians To Share Details Of Their Daily Life Or History. As A Counselor, How Would You Answer These Queries? Do You Believe That More Or Less Self-Disclosure Is Appropriate? Why?
Clinicians sharing their personal life story with their clients is a good mechanism to nature their relationship. A good relationship between a counselor and their client will enhance trust between them, which is necessary to achieve set objectives (Krupnick, Sotsky, Simmers, Moyer, Elkin, Watkins, Pilkonis, 1996). There should be rules of engagement and not all matters should be shared to help maintain the doctor patient relationship. Counselors may use this platform to share their personal and medical experiences with the clients. This will motivate and encourage the patients in their treatment and recovery process. In counseling, more support besides the medical treatments is needed. Emotional and social support is necessary for a complete recovery process (Krupnick et al., 1996).
Through the sharing of personal information and experiences, it can increase positive patient outcomes (Knox, 2017). A counselor can answer questions about their daily life or history by set procedures and certain levels as required by set regulations and boundaries. This will safeguard the counselor in case the patient may have a negative agenda (Knox, 2017). Patients have different motives and confiding in patients can sometimes pose a risk to the counselor (Knox, 2017). Since patients mostly depend on the counselors during the treatment period, a counselor can be accommodative though to a certain level. Responses should be related to the health condition and the recovery process. Counselors should use self-disclosure in a way that it helps the client and not put more harm to the client. They should use the minimum necessary personal information (Knox, 2017).
Less self-disclosure is appropriate because personal information is confidential and could be risky to share this information with every patient (Krupnick et al., 1996). Personal information should be used at a level that will help the patient in the treatment process. Some patients may even file lawsuits to counselors for inappropriate relationships with the clients (Knox, 2017). A counselor should always remember his/her responsibilities and should maintain appropriate governance suited to his/her roles. Self-disclosure should be based on the available laws and regulations, which most allow sharing of personal information to certain degrees (Knox, 2017).
Knox, S. (2017). Disclosure and concealment in psychotherapy. London: Routledge.
Krupnick, J. L., Sotsky, S. M., Simmers, S., Moyer, J., Elkin, I., Watkins, J., Pilkonis, P. A. (1996). The Role of the Therapeutic Alliance in Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy Outcome: Findings in the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(3), 532-539.