The Real Relationship, Therapist Self-Disclosure, and Treatment Progress: A Study of Psychotherapy Dyads

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2011

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The present study examined therapists' and clients' perceptions of their real relationships, the amount and relevance of the therapists' self-disclosures, and treatment progress. Sixty-one therapist-client dyads in ongoing psychotherapy completed measures of these variables. Positive correlations were found between the strength of their real relationships and their treatment progress from both perspectives separately, and when perspectives were crossed. From the therapist's perspective, the amount of therapist self-disclosure positively correlated with both the strength of the real relationship and treatment progress. From the client's perspective, the amount of therapist self-disclosure positively correlated with the strength of the real relationship, and the relevance of therapist self-disclosure positively correlated with treatment progress. Overall the results imply that therapists should strive to strengthen their real relationships with their clients, and that appropriate use of therapist self-disclosure is one intervention that may help strengthen this relationship.

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