Wendy Lewis

WEEK 5 DQ 1/LISA BARKERLisa Barker6/1/2017 7:27:30 PM 


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Discuss the role of self-disclosure, maintaining boundaries, client resistance, transference, and countertransference on the dynamics of clinical relationships and the client’s progress in therapy.

The counseling process can be very difficult and when deemed appropriate, the counselor can utilize self-disclosure by sharing their own personal views or experience in order to help the client through the problem (McCarthy & Archer, 2013).   However, making sure the client is benefiting the most and not the counselor is the key ingredient.  For example, if the client is experiencing divorce and the counselor has to, then the counselor can share how they coped and dealt with this problem.  In the counseling process, maintaining boundaries is important because if the counselor ever feels the situation is to much, then ending or acknowledging boundaries are important too.  In both, self-disclosure and boundaries, client resistance can develop if they are not delivered in the counseling session properly. This could go bad and then be turned around if the counselor is able to understand where the resistance is coming from in the client’s life.  However, in the reading transference and countertransference both play even a bigger role because when using things such as the family tree, the counselor can see immediate important or close relationships and distant or past relationships, which some may be negative (McCarthy & Archer, 2013). 

Which negative contexts do you feel are most likely to inhibit growth or progress?

The two that are most able to give a negative impact are self-disclosure and countertransference. The reasoning being that self-disclosure can lose focus and become more focused on counselor and not the client.  Countertransference can bring about hidden unwanted people in the client’s life, which can bring about hidden hostility, anger, and confusion (McCarthy & Archer, 2013). If all of these contexts are not handled properly, it can cease progress by bringing about unwanted people in the client’s life and hinder the clinical relationship because the client may start to feel as though no help is being given because the focus is wrong. Also, in my opinion and after talking to a counselor friend in the past, the counselor used to say, “if these clients want help, they will do three things and that is participate or talk, do homework, and show up for all sessions and call when they cannot make it.”


McCarthy, C. J. & Archer, J., Jr. (2013). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Dynamics of Clinical RelationshipsAllison Cruz6/1/2017 10:40:57 PM 

There are several dynamics that contribute to the clinical relationship between therapist and client. These dynamics include self-discourse, maintaining boundaries, client resistance, transference and countertransference. All of these dynamics have the ability to affect the client’s progress in therapy. A mental health professional engages in self-disclosure when he or she verbalizes personal revelations to the client (Edward & Murdock, 1994)  A therapist may choose to use self-disclosures as a therapeutic technique for a variety  of reasons. Some reasons include to increase the client’s trust in the counselor, to increase similarity between client and counselor, improve the therapeutic relationship and to model desired behavior (Edward & Murdock, 1994). It is unclear whether self-disclosure is seen as a “boundary violation” or a “boundary crossing” (Barglow, 2005).

Maintaining appropriate boundaries is a critical for the clinical relationship between therapist and client. According to Glass (2003) boundaries provide the client with an optimal atmosphere in which rules and role expectations are created, these conditions are what the client relies on in order to feel safe. Glass (2003) labels a “boundary violation” as one that unethically exploits the client and defines a “boundary crossing” as a therapeutic technique used to enhance the treatment process without causing harm to the client. Client resistance is a third dynamic that can affect the clinical relationship. According to Gysbers (1999) it is crucial for clinicians to acknowledge and recognize signs of client resistance in order to not misinterpret the client’s behavior. Types of client resistance include fear of counseling, fear of taking responsibility, making excuses and overt physical behavior (Gysbers,1999). Lastly, transference and countertransference are elements that may occur in therapy that can affect the clinical relationship between counselor and client. Transference occurs in therapy when a client redirects emotions and feelings, often unconsciously, onto the therapist (Feinstein, N.D). Proponents of psychoanalysis believe that transference is a therapeutic tool that is crucial in understanding an individual’s unconscious or repressed feelings (Feinstein, N.D.). Countertransference occurs when a therapist transfers emotions to a client in therapy and is often a reaction to transference (Barglow, 2005). Countertransference can either be seen as helpful or unhelpful. Therapists may openly share their own feelings with their clients (self-disclosure) and may use countertransference in a conscious manner to encourage the client to participate in therapy. Harmful countertransference can occur when the therapist transfers to a client in treatment feelings that are misplaced or a therapist uses a client in therapy to meet personal psychological needs (Barglow, 2005). Not maintaining appropriate boundaries, client resistance and harmful countertransference are dynamics that can inhibit the growth and progress of a client in therapy.


Barglow, P. (2005). Self-Disclosure in Psychotherapy. American Journal Of Psychotherapy, 59(2), 83-99

Edwards, C. E., & Murdock, N. L. (1994). Characteristics of Therapist Self-Disclosure in the Counseling Process. Journal Of Counseling & Development, 72(4), 384-389.

Feinstein, D. (  N.D.). Transference and Countertransference in the Here-And-Now Therapies. doi: http://www.hakomiinstitute.com/Forum/Issue8/Transference.pdf

Gysbers, N. C. (1999). Working with Resistant Clients in Career Counseling. ERIC Digest. doi: http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED435949

Glass, L. L. (2003). The Gray Areas of Boundary Crossings and Violations. American Journal Of Psychotherapy, 57(4), 429-444.