WHAT IS THE SELF-DISCLOSURE IN MENTAL HEALTH?

ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST/COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

As we get to know our partners better, we reveal more and
more of ourselves to them, particularly our innermost thoughts and
feelings. This is known a
self-disclosure (Jourard, 1971). Social penetration theory (Altman and Taylor,
1973) suggests that each partner matches the self- disclosures of the other in
terms of the breadth and depth of the disclosures. This is more important at the beginning of
relationships.

Problems with disclosure that are often encountered in
counselling include:

  • 1- Over-disclosure

This leaves the person over-exposed and defenceless to
ridicule and so on. It can also place
the other in a difficult situation if they are not ready to reciprocate.

  • 2- Under-disclosure

This hinders the relationship from developing. It may leave the other person feeling over-
exposed as a result of feeling that they have revealed too much about
themselves

  • 3- Mismatching

This happens where an individual discloses information
(usually related to…

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