Therapist Self Disclosure in Group Psychotherapy from an Intersubjective and Self Psychological Standpoint

Research paper by Bertram D. Cohen, Victor L. Schermer

Indexed on: 01 Jun '01Published on: 01 Jun '01Published in: Group


The history of therapist self disclosure is traced from the early struggles of Ferenczi and Burrow to its valued, yet still ambivalent, contemporary status. The symmetry of self disclosure by therapist and group members is differentiated from the parity of their different roles and responsibilities. Using a case example, the process is discussed through which a therapist's self disclosure fosters task-appropriate satisfaction of selfobject needs as it also helps group members articulate and loosen archaic selfobject binds. The therapy group is described as a transitional space within which a therapist's disclosure offers members an intersubjective bridge to the therapist as well as a model for members' own active participation in the group's work.