Self-Disclosure in Psychotherapy

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Farber, Barry A. (2006) New York: Guilford Publications. ISBN 59385-323-8. xiii + 242 pp. $30.00.This volume by an academically based clinical psychologist is addressed to psychotherapists, counselors, and graduate students, from all professional backgrounds. It deals not only with the possible self-disclosures of the therapist (and clinical supervisor), but of the patient as well. It is the therapist's behavior in this respect, however, which has attracted greatest attention since the efflorescence of psychotherapeutic practice and research of the post World War II era. Older readers will have the transference oriented “psychoanalytic incognito” as their clinical base line, whereas younger ones will understand this volume from a more interactive and, perhaps cognitive, perspective in which the “reality” of the clinical relationship assumes a more significant position.This is an easy-to-read and sometimes entertaining volume, parts of which offer a worthwhile review to experienced psychotherapists as well as students. By and large the author's emphases are reasonable and sensitive to the clinical contexts in which the question of therapist self-disclosure arises. The brief historical section, with its observations regarding Freud, Sandor Ferenczi, and others, is informative but could be expanded.

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