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Reflections on the Meaning of Clinician Self-Reference

Are We Speaking the Same Language?


Self-reference refers to clinician revelations about themselves. Theory and research on self-reference are limited by a lack of uniform conceptualizations. This paper discusses two types of self-reference, self-disclosure, and self-involving responses. Included are definitions of each type of self-reference; description of definitional inconsistencies in the literature; discussion of prevalence, functions, and the multidimensional nature of self-reference; and practice implications and research recommendations. The ideas presented herein are intended to prompt researchers, practitioners, and educators to carefully consider the nature, scope, and functions of self-reference, and in doing so, bring greater conceptual and operational clarity to their work.

Keywords: clinician self-reference, self-disclosure, self-involving responses, psychotherapy, supervision

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McCarthy Veach, P. (2011). Reflections on the meaning of clinician self-reference: Are we speaking the same language? Psychotherapy, 48, 349-358. doi: 10.1037/a0025908



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