Surely there’s an easier way to determine whether self-disclosure is ok? According to Richard Schwartz, USA Psychologist and founder of a therapeutic technique called Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), therapists should consider the acronym WAIT before making self-disclosures during counselling or therapy.
WAIT, or “Why Am I Telling” is a really useful way of working out whether the disclosure is for the benefit of the client or the counsellor. Let’s face it, countertransference is a very real thing.
Sometimes we want our clients to like us, and we seek validation that we are OK. In these cases, if we are not careful, it can be easy to slip into a conversational style of dialogue where we disclose personal information that is of little benefit to the client.
Having said that, sometimes revealing personal information can be not only helpful but almost necessary to build rapport and trust.