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Miletic, M.J. (1998). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 18(4):601.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 18(4):601


Michael J. Miletic, M.D.

The literature to date has documented wide divergences of opinion regarding the usefulness and meaning of self-disclosure, largely dependent on one's theoretical orientation and personal psychology. In this collection of papers these wide differences in theoretical orientation about speaking about one's self are seen. Yet, when we begin to examine the way that the authors actively work, some surprising findings emerge. Many of the ways that these authors describe of treating their patients begin to converge in the following ways:

1.   Each author cautions against making any a priori assumptions about self-disclosure and against any preconceived theoretical ideas about talking about one's self per se.

2.   Each author has found speaking about himself/herself to patients at specific times to be potentially helpful to the patient.

3.   Speaking directly about one's self can be helpful when it is done in the interest of the patient and of the analysis, regardless of where the analyst is positioned conceptually.

4.   These moments of self-disclosure utility often occur at times when dealing with difficult resistances in new ways, or when accessing areas that previously have been inaccessible.

5.   It is important to pursue, examine, and discuss the meanings of self-disclosure to the patient and to the analyst over time.

6.   These meanings of the self-disclosure cannot be predicted in advance of their occurrence.

More fully detailed clinical reporting of what we actually say about ourselves to our patients and how we say it will aid in our investigation of the ways in which we can be helpful. It is our challenge to continue to work out the vicissitudes of these interactions.

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