The Role of Implicit Communication in Therapist Self-Disclosure

  • Jonathan M. Jackson


We may begin by distinguishing between two different levels of therapist self-disclosure in psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy. One is a surface or manifest level, and it refers to facts, personal data, conscious experiences of the therapist which he communicates in a variety of ways. The other is a deeper, less obvious kind of disclosure, and it concerns the communication of an individual’s moral and social values, ways of relating to others, mood and disposition, intellectual acuity, esthetic tastes, etc. This second set of data comprises the kinds of knowledge one has of a person by living or working on close proximity over a long period of time. Although I will turn to a discussion of the surface level of self-disclosure first, the reader may anticipate my view of the deeper disclosures. That is, that any psychoanalytically oriented treatment must eventually turn towards a consideration of the patient’s perceptions of the therapist’s deep level disclosures, and that to avoid doing so denies the importance of a major capacity of the patient and a major contribution to the therapist, reciprocal aspects of the therapeutic relationship.


Therapeutic Relationship Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Implicit Communication Esthetic Taste Sented Knowledge 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan M. Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Advanced Psychological StudiesAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA

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