Welcome to Fishtown Wellness Center

Fishtown Wellness Center helps individuals and families create, cultivate, and sustain the life they want to live.

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Flexible appointments, offering day/evening/weekend sessions based on clinician availability
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430 Belgrade St. Philadelphia, PA 19125



Fishtown Wellness Center / Uncategorized  / Self-Disclosure


What is self-disclosure?

Self-disclosure is a process of communication in which one person reveals information to another. It can be used in many ways, but in this instance, we will be talking specifically about self-disclosure with therapy practices and mental health professionals. 

Types of self-disclosure 

  1. Accidental – unplanned encounters outside of the counseling session 
  2. Unavoidable – client revelations about a therapist through obvious distinguishing characteristics like someone’s race, jewelry, and haircut. 
  3. Clientinitiated – when a client seeks and finds information about their counselor online, through biographies, awards, family history, etc. 
  4. Deliberate – purposeful self-disclosure with a client 


  • Builds rapport with clients 
  • Reduce client’s uneasy feeling of sharing by counselor sharing 
  • Conveys empathy to clients and shows them they’re not alone 
  • Can “humanize” the counselor to clients 


  • Shift of treatment focus 
  • Excessive sharing may be seen by the client as self-serving 
  • Could share views that invalidate the client’s values and beliefs 
  • Too much self-disclosure can blur the boundaries between the client-counselor relationship

When to use self-disclosure? 

With all of the above in mind, it is ultimately up to the counselor if and when to self-disclose. Before self-disclosing, consider the benefits and the risks, he brief, and use “I” statements. 




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