Why You'll Love This Course

Self-disclosure isn't a single thing. We all have some areas of our lives that we're comfortable sharing with clients, and others that we aren't. Scholarship is beginning to address differences in content areas. Wondering what clients think of explicit or implicit disclosures of your political affiliation? Here, you can find out. Several other specific topics are covered as well.

Course Description

How much of your life should you reveal to therapy clients? While historically psychotherapy has discouraged self-disclosure, today even many psychoanalysts support some forms of self-disclosure. Sharing elements of your social location can help marginalized clients feel valued and understood. Well-timed self-disclosure may salvage interventions that seem to be going off the rails. 

This advanced course examines the ethics of several different forms of self-disclosure, including family life, hobbies, social location, personal values, religious and political affiliations, feelings about the client, and personal history of mental illness. The course also examines disclosure of the four words that strike fear into the hearts of many clinicians: “I made a mistake.” 

In accordance with professional ethical standards, this course honors the complexity of decision-making around self-disclosure, and encourages careful consideration of the specific context and situation alongside consideration of the content of the disclosure.

1.5 Hours CE. Recorded Video Format (non-interactive)

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least one ethical principle related to their use of self-disclosure

  • Identify at least two potential positive clinical impacts of self-disclosure and two potential negative clinical impacts of self-disclosure

  • Describe at least three recent research findings regarding self-disclosure of specific types of content

  • Describe at least one research finding regarding acknowledgement of mistakes in therapy

Course Outline

1. Historical context

a. Traditional psychoanalytic view

b. Modern psychoanalytic view

c. Feminist influence

2. Ethical standards

3. Purposes of self-disclosure

4. Impacts of self-disclosure

5. Specific examples and considerations

a. Personal/family life

b. Hobbies

c. Social location

d. Personal values and morals

e. Feelings about the client or the therapy

f. Religious affiliation

g. Political affiliation

h. Therapist’s mental health condition

i. Mistakes

References

Instructor

Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD, LMFT

Education Director, SimplePractice Learning

Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#42723). He currently serves as adjunct faculty for California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. He has taught at the graduate level for more than 15 years, primarily in Law and Ethics, and has written and trained extensively on ethical applications in mental health care. In addition to serving a three-year term on the AAMFT Ethics Committee, Dr. Caldwell served as the Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for AAMFT-California for 10 years. He served as Editor for the Users Guide to the 2015 AAMFT Code of Ethics, Chair of the workgroup that developed Best Practices in the Online Practice of Couple and Family Therapy, and author of several books, including Saving Psychotherapy and Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs.

Additional Information

Format and Length:

Recorded video format (non-interactive). Total running time 95 minutes.

Topic Area:

Law and Ethics

Instructional Level:

Advanced

Completion Requirements:

To obtain your CE certificate, you must progress through all course segments, complete a satisfaction survey, and obtain a score of 80% or higher on a course completion quiz. Learners are expected to complete the quiz within a reasonable number of attempts, and may be blocked from completing the course and receiving their certificate if unable to do so.

Completion Quiz and Course Evaluation:

After watching course videos, the course completion quiz will be available to complete, followed by the course evaluation.

Who Should Attend:

Psychologists, counselors, masters or doctoral level clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists

Publication and Review Dates:

Course Published: May 18, 2021 

Financial Support Statement:

SimplePractice Learning pays course presenters for their teaching. There is no other financial support for this course.

Conflict of Interest Statement:

The presenter serves as Chair of the SimplePractice Learning Curriculum Committee and Education Director for SimplePractice Learning. In accordance with our policy, he was recused from committee discussion and decision-making regarding this course. Content decisions are made at the committee level.

Refund Policy:

Click here to see our policies on attendance, refunds, grievances, and accessibility, and other frequently asked questions. Click here to contact us or submit a grievance.

Contact Information:

For any inquiries related to subject matter guidance, correction, grading, comments, or problem resolution please contact us.

System Requirements:

Please ensure your device meets our system requirements.

Continuing Education Approvals:

SimplePractice is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course provides 1.5 hours of continuing education (1.5 CE credits) for psychologists.

SimplePractice has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6961. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. SimplePractice is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

SimplePractice has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6961. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. SimplePractice is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

SimplePractice, #1749, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Simple Practice maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 07/06/2021 – 07/06/2024. Social workers participating in this course will receive 1.5 continuing education credit in the Ethics topic area.

SimplePractice is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #145276). SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

SimplePractice is approved as a Rule/Statute Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling. Note that we do not automatically report CE completion to CE Broker at this time, so certificates of completion must be manually uploaded. Click here for more information.

SimplePractice LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0582. 

SimplePractice LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0030.

SimplePractice LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0091.

SimplePractice LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0206.


This course is not part of our NAADAC-approved continuing education program.