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Self Disclosure in the Counseling Process Essay

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Updated: Oct 14th, 2021

The counseling environment, by its nature, exists to serve some primary productive purpose: the provision of a service, the production of products or sales, or regulatory control. The component parts of the organization are in many ways subordinate to the primary goals, even though on a day-to-day basis there may be enormous competition among individual organizational members and among structural subunits of the organization about the specific means of implementing the organization’s primary purpose or about defining that purpose. Self-disclosure plays a crucial role in counseling practice and dual relationships.

There are four types of self-disclosure: “There are four different types of self-disclosures: deliberate, unavoidable, accidental and client-initiated” (Zur, 2008). Thus, by this reasoning, self-disclosure of incompetency becomes a potent trigger for achievement distress. Moreover, ascriptions to inability are also likely to dampen one’s expectations for future success, thereby compounding distress at failure. Finally, another effective factor of humiliation is likely to be implicated in this process. Humiliation has been shown to be an ability-linked reaction to failure and is therefore also likely to mediate the hypothesized ability demotion/anxiety axis (Corey, p. 31).

In counseling practices, deliberate self-disclosure is unaccepted as it violates the rights and privacy of clients. All these schemes involve some diversion of assets or information followed by the prevention or deferral of the activities disclosure. They can be detected if certain indicators are watched carefully, especially those that are present time and again when fraud occurs. The conduct of an audit in accordance with generally accepted principles does not anticipate deceit and may fail to detect violation of privacy issues (Stewart, p. 43). The key to self-disclosure prevention could be effective and functioning internal controls. However, some self-disclosure schemes may be effectively designed to work within the framework of an effective internal control system. The level of assurance of these controls becomes the key. Self-disclosure is most associated with a problem of integrity and therefore not easily quantifiable. What may be needed besides the audit is a self-disclosure engagement (Corey, p. 33).

Unavoidable self-disclosure might include an extremely wide range of possibilities, such as therapist’s gender, age, and physics” ” (Zur, 2008). This position rests on the well-documented observation that individuals accept personal responsibility for their failure to achieve desired goals and tend to interpret such failures as the result of personal defects, especially low ability (Stewart, p. 43). Overall, then, the logic of this position argues that to the degree of failure causes a diminution in ability ascriptions, failure leads to distress both directly (low ability ← distress) and indirectly through lowered future expectations (Stewart, p. 47). The disclosure of personal information becomes, therefore, essential if therapists are going to consider properly the negative effects of distress, along with any compensating positive effects that reduce risk or create greater interest from a particular clientele.

The rationales for self-disclosure with different populations involve the following categories: gat and lesbian people, religious therapies and adolescent groups, war veterans and minorities, children, and 12 step programs. In many of these groups, achievement distress, especially self-blame, humiliation, and self-derogation, follow from a realization that the individual is personally unable to manage events that are controllable by others (Stewart, p. 41). Also, as a co-mediator with humiliation. The relative strength of this particular linkage was expected since, as mentioned earlier, humiliation is an ability-linked effect triggered exclusively by the disclosure of incompetency. Indeed, humiliation itself, regardless of ability attributions, was a substantial mediator of anxiety, accounting for the remainder of the indirect effect. “Therapists’ theoretical orientation and comfort with self-disclosure are often determined by their culture, gender, and personality. These are obvious factors determining the extent of their self-disclosure” (Zur, 2008). Counselors should pay special attention to self-disclosure issues as it ruins close relations between the therapist and a client and makes the process of effective treatment impossible.

In counseling, the calls for a synthesis of social and institutional economics, a rectification paradigm, an ethical paradigm, and an economic remedy to social issues may only be implemented by an effort at the micro and macro levels to identify, measure, and disclose the total performance, economic and social, of all the economic and social units of a nation. Naturally, such an observation can be sustained only in the abstract since the repeated failure, no matter what its interpretation, will eventually produce a generalized, stable fear of all achievement activities. These data corroborate an emerging view that achievement behavior, and in particular its motivational aspects, is mediated largely by self-cognitions of ability. Thus, to answer the questions posed earlier regarding what is so threatening about the achievement process, we can now say with some assurance that the threat emanates from risking failure with its implications for low ability. Prior to the present research, little evidence was available regarding the causal role of ability ascriptions in influencing expectations and achievement affect within this reformulated paradigm. From the larger perspective of self-worth theory, which stresses the role of ability cognitions in achievement dynamics, learned helplessness represents the final step in a process of demoralization in which individuals become failure accepting after unsuccessful efforts to evade the implications of repeated failure that they lack the ability.

Works Cited

  1. Corey, G. Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (Counseling). Brooks Cole; 5Rev Ed edition, 1995.
  2. Stewart, W. An A-Z of Counselling Theory and Practice – Fourth Edition Nelson Thornes; 2005.
  3. Zur, O. Self-Disclosure, To Disclose or Not to Disclose, This is the Question. 2008.
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