Objective: Immediate therapist self-disclosure (Im-TSD) can be a powerful intervention. When engaged in judiciously, it can provide clients with a unique opportunity to explore their interpersonal relationship in real time. Relational theories suggest that for Im-TSD to be effective, both client and therapist must have temporally congruent perceptions of its occurrence. The present study examined (a) whether clients and therapists are temporally congruent in their session-by-session ratings of Im-TSD; and (b) whether this congruence is associated with therapy outcomes. Method: After each session, clients (n = 102) and therapists (n = 60) at a university-based clinic indicated whether Im-TSD was present during the session. Before each session, clients self-reported their functioning. They rated session quality after each session. Results: Therapists’ ratings of their Im-TSD tended to be temporally congruent with their clients’ Im-TSD ratings. Greater temporal congruvdence was associated with greater improvement over time in clients’ experience of the session as helpful, but not with changes in clients’ functioning. Conclusion: The findings highlight the importance of establishing a stronger temporal congruence of Im-TSD ratings between therapists and clients to further improve clients’ experiences in treatment. The findings’ implications are discussed as well as situations in which temporal congruence may not be beneficial.
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- Process-outcome research
- Therapist self-disclosure
- Truth and Bias Model