Human Conversations: Self-Disclosure and Storytelling in Adlerian Family Therapy

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Self-disclosure and storytelling have been part of Adlerian family therapy and counseling since Adler's public work with families and educators in Austria. The benefits of both—as well as the cautions for use—have been well documented in the literature. Still, those who are recently trained and/or new to the profession often seem reluctant to engage clients in the kind of human, person-to-person (and person-revealing) conversations that let clients know they are not alone in the world and that encourage them to be imperfectly human. The use of self-disclosure and storytelling occurs less in training programs that put a premium on "taking a professional stance" and with practicum/internship students who are still unsure of how to use themselves in the therapeutic process. The authors describe the purposes and constructions of effective self-disclosure and storytelling in Adlerian family therapy and suggest guidelines for therapeutic decision-making and use.

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