Judicious Self-Disclosure by the Psychoanalyst
One of Sándor Ferenczi's greatest contributions to clinical theory and method is his pioneering concept of analyst self-disclosure. First introduced in his famous paper “The elasticity of psycho-analytic technique” (1928), analyst self-disclosure changed the nature of clinical interaction between analyst and analysand, from the Freudian model of a surgeon to the responsiveness of an empathic mother. Ferenczi's clinical work with the so-called “difficult cases” (narcissistic, borderline and psychotic disorders) moved him to discover the ethos of activity within an empathic method. Analyst self-disclosure is one of those responsive measures he developed to address the deficits in communication and interpersonal functioning in trauma survivors. An outline is presented of the “Confusion of Tongues” which is the model from which self-disclosure is derived. A contemporary extension of this idea is offered in the clinical and theoretical distinction between judicious vs. conspicuous self-disclosure.
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