Self-disclosure is a technique that can benefit the client and you during interviews. There are items that you need to keep in mind for self-disclosure, such as if it is appropriate timing, is it helping the client, or is it focused on you more than the client.

Consider this scenario: A client comes in and you are discussing her recent separation. You can tell the client is frustrated and is struggling with adjusting to a new life where the children are living with their father, she is living in a single apartment, and her separation is leading to a divorce. She thought that if they were given space, they would reunite and not go forward with the divorce.
You interrupt: “I completely understand. I am divorced too. We did not have children, but we did try to make it work. In the end, we just could not do it. I realized I was better off alone. We had nothing in common. I like running, cooking, reading, and taking weekend gateways. My spouse, however, did not like any of those and just wanted to stay at home and watch TV. Our excitement was going out to eat; I would much rather cook a nice meal at home. Everything was about my spouse and we never did what I wanted. I am baffled why we ever got married in the first place”.
To Prepare
Think about the scenario provided. Consider your thoughts on the appropriateness of what was self-disclosed. As an interviewer, would that be too little, too much, or just enough to share with the client if you were trying to build rapport and trust? Or would you have not shared any of it? Think about your current professional position or one you’d like to work in the future. Consider when you might and might not use self-disclosure. In addition, think about what interactions you might document with clients.

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Post the pros and cons of using self-disclosure in various human and social services’ professional settings. Then, discuss the benefits and any limitations of documenting interactions with “clients.”

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