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.

5 Golden Rules for Using Self-Disclosure in Counselling

As a counsellor/therapist, is it OK to reveal information about yourself to your clients? If so, are there specific guidelines around if or how this can be helpful? Clinical Psychologist and Mind Expert, Leanne Hall breaks down the guiding principles of how and when to use self-disclosure in counselling.

The “rules” of self-disclosure are a little muddy. For example, psychoanalysts believe quite strongly that self-disclosure is counterproductive as it distorts client’s transference

Conversely, Cognitive Behavioural therapists believe that self-disclosure can be a useful tool in therapy as it models and reinforces new perspectives for the client. 

So basically, your therapeutic orientation is a powerful factor in determining whether revealing personal information to your clients is ok. But isn’t that confusing? Especially if like many counsellors and therapists, you move between several orientations.

One pioneering expert, Dr. Edward Bordin

One pioneering expert, Dr. Edward Bordin

Because of the belief that relationships are a major contributor to problems as well as the avenue for bringing about change, the alliance between therapists and clients is important in family therapy. Writings and ideas on the therapeutic alliance from psychoanalytic theory were used by Edward Bordin to develop a working theory in 1979, and later adapted to the field of family therapy. However, the adaptation did not account for many variables unique and important to family therapy. This article describes the therapeutic alliance and the necessity of creating a theory of therapeutic alliance that accounts for family therapy concepts. Future ideas for scholarship are presented.


Getting many questions on my Google it post.

Here is an example of how to do a google search for “fake” therapy, replace the word “fake” with the Therapy you would like to check to see the results.

Often some of the results that come up for non evidence researched therapies have articles written by the actual person who is trying to sell them, or companies and people affiliated with them.

Be sure to check it out first before handing over you cash. Do your homework.

I nearly handed out 200 dollars for just phase one of a training course to provide a non evidence based therapy to my clients.

The same applies to any research.


Have you ever listened to a podcast only to think it sounds so familiar??

Then a few days later you are studying away and find the exact same text in a journal or on a medical website!!!

It appears to be happening more and more these days, nothing is original, just the same old courses and podcasts being rehashed and marketed by someone else.

Some don’t even bother to change the illustrations and graphics, or even give credit to the original owner.

I often posts things from other peoples sites but ALWAYS INCLUDE a link to their site, but I wouldn’t dream of plagiarising someone else’s work and claiming it as my own! And it does not stop at podcasts, courses and website posts, sometimes its strap lines, and unique phrases to a particular business.

Years ago I came across this problem and created my own unique poster well before the caricature avatars appeared on the scene back in 2013.

Well you could see it as a compliment, but the fact that there is very little originality out there is becoming a little boring to say the least.

Unless you do something different and original you are never going to stand out, I no longer bother listening to podcasts, your better off just doing a Google search to choose which version you actually want to read or listen to.

I prefer the original source, these are the people who have taken the time and trouble to study and research their topic before putting something together. These are the articles that usually focus on the content not the illustrations.

I have a list of original authors who are experts in their field on my FAQ, authors and experts who have spent decades researching, writing and sharing, not being given the recognition they deserve.

So please, if you find something of interest that belongs to someone else, at least give them some credit for their original work.

Rant over

Linda – Always by your side

Selfishness of Others

They’re among us, but they are not like us. They manipulate, lie, cheat, and steal. They are irresistibly charming and accomplished, appearing to live in a radiance beyond what we are capable of. But narcissists are empty. No one knows exactly what everyone else is full of–some kind of a soul, or personhood–but whatever it is, experts agree that narcissists do not have it.

So goes the popular understanding of narcissism, or NPD (narcissistic personality disorder). And it’s more prevalent than ever, according to recent articles in The New York TimesThe Atlantic, and Time. In bestsellers like The Narcissism EpidemicNarcissists Exposed, and The Narcissist Next Door, pop psychologists have armed the normal with tools to identify and combat the vampiric influence of this rising population, while on websites like, thousands of people congregate to swap horror stories about relationships with “narcs.”

In The Selfishness of Others, the essayist Kristin Dombek provides a clear-sighted account of how a rare clinical diagnosis became a fluid cultural phenomenon, a repository for our deepest fears about love, friendship, and family. She cuts through hysteria in search of the razor-thin line between pathology and common selfishness, writing with robust skepticism toward the prophets of NPD and genuine empathy for those who see themselves as its victims. And finally, she shares her own story in a candid effort to find a path away from the cycle of fear and blame and toward a more forgiving and rewarding life.

Fixating on any demon necessitates a deep familiarity with it!

Dombek makes this case elegantly, and by heavy implication: If you are strongly averse to something, won’t you inevitably have trouble recognizing it within yourself? The religious fear of evil can itself lead to evil—a desire to protect unborn children, for instance, can cause a callous disregard for women’s lives. The fear of being inconsistent about one’s feminism often leads one to be inconsistent about one’s feminism. Fixating on any demon necessitates a deep familiarity with it, and today my fear of narcissism derives from intimate acquaintance with the many evolving ways a person can bend her life into a flattering mirror online. In the book’s opening section, before giving up the first-person pronoun, Dombek writes, “If using the word I_ _turns out to be a symptom of narcissism, you won’t hear from me again.”

As a reader, I resisted this notion: there’s a plain responsibility to the “I” when it’s used well, an admission that human experience is often too specific for a “we.” But as a writer I know exactly where Dombek is coming from. This fear of appearing narcissistic—of being_ _narcissistic, deep down—is where a particularly elusive form of the disorder may live. I am disturbed by the idea of being narcissistic, and yet I find other people’s self-absorption merely embarrassing. If that disturbance stems from an abiding suspicion that I can’t see myself clearly, well, what greater proof of overwhelming self-concern could there be?

Jia Tolentino
@jiatolentinoJia Tolentino is a staff writer at The New Yorker whose work includes an exploration of youth vaping and essays on the ongoing cultural reckoning about sexual assault. Previously, she was the deputy editor at Jezebel and a contributing editor at the Hairpin. She grew up in Texas, attended the University of Virginia, served in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan, and received an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Michigan. Her first book, the essay collection “Trick Mirror,” was published in August, 2019.


So where Freud once wrote that “the type of female most frequently met with” tended to love narcissistically, we are now more likely to apply that characterization to men. “If there’s one thing a girl with a bad boyfriend has,” Dombek notes, “it’s the moral upper hand in the religion of mental health.” Here, she turns to the corner of the Internet she calls the “narcisphere,” a collection of blogs and forums in which women, mostly, solidify a sense of their superior powers of empathy and raise their collective consciousness about surviving narcissism and about narcissism-induced P.T.S.D. “If you are an especially giving person, warns the Internet, you are a prime target for narcissists,” Dombek writes. The narcisphere has a gendered inverse, which some call the manosphere and which is dedicated to teaching men how to dominate women by feigning self-confidence. This is the realm of pickup artistry. It is much worse than the narcisphere.

In suggestive detail, Dombek imagines a scene through the point of view of a boyfriend who has been identified as a narcissist by his girlfriend. The girlfriend, who has been spending a lot of time on the Internet, and has become convinced that her boyfriend’s fairly ordinary flaws are symptomatic of a serious disorder, watches him, “lip trembling.” He asks what’s wrong. She puts on a fake smile and says nothing; the narcisphere has advised her to protect herself and withdraw. And there begins an emotional arms race, in which the only way to respond to someone you assume to be entirely insincere and empty inside is to suppress your own instincts for kindness—to act, in other words, like a narcissist. “It can be spooky,” Dombek imagines the boyfriend thinking, “how unrelated what she says is to what seems to be going on inside.”

Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of the essay collection “Trick Mirror.”

Who can diagnose a narcissist?

How is narcissistic personality disorder diagnosed? A mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist (psychotherapist) can determine if you have key symptoms of NPD. Your psychotherapist will give you questionnaires and then talk with you.

You’ll go over what’s causing you distress. The focus will be on long-term patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving and interacting with others. Your psychotherapist will also identify and rule out any other mental health conditions. 

Can I take a test to see if I have narcissistic traits?

Your psychotherapist may give you personality tests to see if you have narcissistic traits. The tests are just questions you answer honestly. They give your psychotherapist better insight into how you think and feel. Tests include:

  • Personality diagnostic questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4).
  • Millon clinical multiaxial inventory III (MCMI-III).
  • International personality disorder examination (IPDE).


So until someone has had the test, and usually they won’t you cant go around accusing everyone of being a narcissist!!!


Blame Shifting

This article really resonated with me and I would like to share. I have had several clients recently who have managed to overcome and work through boundary issues with close ones to great effect. Its not all about labelling and blame shifting.!

“As a trainee psychodynamic therapist, it is common for me to hear that the majority of platonic and romantic relationships fail because boundaries have not been communicated. Instead of addressing the situation and laying down healthy rules, people would rather ghost or brand the other person as ‘toxic’. This creates a blame culture which is not only counterproductive but allows people to sidestep accountability for their own responses. I have seen countless memes on Instagram therapy accounts which claim to help us identify toxic people. The truth is that with the exception of some incredibly serious circumstances where a person has been abusive, very few people are ‘toxic’. And even in those serious circumstances, would we call a rapist or domestic abuser ‘toxic’? Probably not. There are other terms to describe their actions. In reality, putting healthy boundaries in place ought to be seen as the act of fortifying relationships rather than building walls to keep people out or, indeed, avoid having difficult conversations about our needs and feelings. “