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Building a therapeutic relationship: how much is too much self-disclosure?

Faculty Advisor




therapeutic relationship, self-disclosure

Abstract (summary)

Therapeutic relationships are foundational to nursing practice. Nurses use self-disclosure as means of connecting with their patients. But, how is this done effectively, how do nurses learn self-disclosure, and what is the effect of self-disclosure on the nurse/client relationship. An exploratory qualitative research design was used to gather information to help improve nursing’s understanding of self-disclosure within the context of a nurse/patient relationship. The following research questions were addressed: What are the reasons nurses self-disclose? How do nurses learn about using self-disclosure? When nurses do self-disclose, what effect on the therapeutic relationship? Data was collected through qualitative interviews with Registered Nurses, who reported using self-disclosure to enhance their relational practice. Recommendations include utilizing Nursing Professional Development Practitioners to implement educational guidance to self-disclose effectively.

Publication Information

Steuber, P., & Pollard, C. (2018). Building a therapeutic relationship: How much is too much self-disclosure? International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(2), 651-657. Retrieved from



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Attribution (CC BY)