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Self-disclosure is both the conscious and unconscious act of revealing more about ourselves to others. This may include but is not limited to thoughts, feelings, aspirations, goals, failures, successes, fears, dreams as well as our likes, dislikes, and favorites. Many people attempt to avoid "self-disclosing" too much to co-workers, or when dating for fear of being judged negatively by others.
Typically self-disclosure is done when we initially meet someone and as we continue to build and develop our relationships with people. As we get to know each other we equally self-disclose things. If one person is not willing to "self disclose" then the other person may "shut down" or stop disclosing information about themselves as well.
In a counseling session, the patient or client does the "self disclosing" while the counselor, or therapist listens. Their role is to help the client see things from different angles. The allows the client to see and evaluate options he or she may not have thought about, which gives the client more power when making important life decisions.
References & Bibliography
- Sprecher, S. (1987) The effects of self disclosure given and received on affection for an intimate partner and stability of the relationship, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 4: 115-28.