Conceptual considerations regarding self-disclosure: A relational psychoanalytic perspective

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Postmodernism opens up a new way of thinking about how life is understood and how knowledge is structured, and as such, it demands that one must accept that there have been major shifts in psychoanalytic thinking since Freud's time. The relational psychoanalytic perspective understands and structures knowledge differently from traditional psychoanalysis, as described by Freud, and it is not possible to reconcile these two paradigms. Consequently, both present a method for working with patients that is in stark contrast to each other. The relational perspective views the analytical relationship as mutual but asymmetrical, bi-directional, co-created and involves the dynamic inter-play of multiple subjectivities and multiple self-representations. Within this approach, I argue that self-disclosure is a respected technique, inevitable and a co-construction. In addition, there are objections to its use, regardless of theoretical approach, and they are presented and addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalSouth African Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Mutuality
  • Postmodern
  • Relational psychoanalysis
  • Self-disclosure
  • Technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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