How much personal information should a therapist share? When does it go from helpful to self-indulgent? We asked the experts in Psychology Today's Therapy Directory what they thought.
Lead By Example
"I have heard a lot of stories from clients about therapists telling them at length about their own problems," Candace Coker Smith says. "They find it unprofessional." But she often finds herself using the skills she teaches her clients, and she'll bring in those real-life examples.
Flesh and Blood
"I'm a big advocate for appropriate self-disclosure in medicine and counseling psychology," Deah Curry says. "I think it humanizes the clinician, models good coping strategies, and creates trust, rapport, and openness. But if you can't bring your story back to how it relates to the client's issues in 30 to 60 seconds, it's probably serving you and not them."
Ker Cleary echoed a popular sentiment: "The 'me-too' impulse is there at times, but I just bite my tongue—sometimes literally—and save it for my own therapist."