Therapeutic self-disclosure of religious affiliation: A critical analysis of theory, research, reality, and practice.

Therapeutic self-disclosure (TSD) of religious affiliation/non-affiliation is an underdiscussed issue within the psychology and spirituality literature. A review of limited research on the subject suggests the possible benefits of TSD of similar affiliations, while disclosures of different or non-affiliations may not be unilaterally contra-indicated. Although available research is inconclusive, disclosures of religious similarity-difference may lead to client responses which may in turn be informative about their behavior in contexts of intimacy or discord. It is also important to consider the possible influences of countertransference related both to practitioners’ personal histories with religion, as well as discouraging influences rooted in the history of the helping professions. Decisions to or not to self-disclose religious affiliation should be made based on the clinical and individually specific circumstances at hand. This conceptualization is necessarily informed by an understanding of transference and countertransference, and thereby warranting critical review of the literature as well as its implications for clinical practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)