Client disclosure and therapist response in psychotherapy with women with a history of childhood sexual abuse

Barry A. Farber, Sarah Feldman, Andrew Jordan Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigated the perceptions of adult clients (N=98; M age=32) with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) of the costs and benefits of disclosure of this material. Significant benefits of disclosing included a sense of relief from sharing bottled-up emotions, and feeling more accepted and understood by one's therapist; significant negative consequences included feeling emotionally overwhelmed, and feeling uncomfortably vulnerable and exposed. Linear regressions indicated that CSA patients who generally disclose more have a greater tendency to experience both positive and negative effects of disclosure about abuse. In addition, a hierarchical regression analysis indicated that higher levels of symptomatology were predictive of higher levels of anxiety related to disclosure in therapy, suggesting that clinicians need to be cautious in encouraging disclosure about CSA with patients with severe pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-326
Number of pages11
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Sex Offenses
Disclosure
Psychotherapy
Emotions
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Linear Models
Anxiety
Regression Analysis
Pathology
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • childhood sexual abuse client disclosure
  • therapy relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Client disclosure and therapist response in psychotherapy with women with a history of childhood sexual abuse. / Farber, Barry A.; Feldman, Sarah; Wright, Andrew Jordan.

In: Psychotherapy Research, Vol. 24, No. 3, 01.01.2014, p. 316-326.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Farber, Barry A. ; Feldman, Sarah ; Wright, Andrew Jordan. / Client disclosure and therapist response in psychotherapy with women with a history of childhood sexual abuse. In: Psychotherapy Research. 2014 ; Vol. 24, No. 3. pp. 316-326.
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