Client Self-Disclosure as a Predictor of Short-Term Outcome in Brief Psychotherapy

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College students differ in their tendencies to self-disclose personal information. The goal of this study was to determine how differing disclosure tendencies among university counseling center clients affect psychotherapy outcomes. Among 22 clients in brief psychotherapy, client tendencies to self-disclose personal information predicted how relevant their in-session disclosures were to the therapy goals. Disclosure tendencies also predicted a decrease in symptoms and social-role concerns after only three to four sessions of psychotherapy. This study suggests that the early assessment of self-disclosure tendencies may be a useful way to clarify clients' expectations about disclosure in therapy and develop effective treatment plans.


This article was originally published as Sloan, A. E., & Kahn, J. H. (2005). Client self-disclosure as a predictor of short-term outcome in brief psychotherapy. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 19(3), 25–39.