UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Factors which encourage and inhibit self disclosure : an exploratory study Old, Fiona Elizabeth Helen


Factors which affect self-disclosure were investigated in this study. The literature on this topic was seen to be in a state of disorganisation, and an attempt was made here to develop some system by which the volume of information on What facilitates and hinders self-disclosure could be made more meaningful. The Critical Incident Technique was employed in the interviewing of twenty-five male and female subjects from an urban Unitarian Church, and by which method the data was analysed. It was found that subjects responded on a level of perceived meaning, and on this basis, factors, derived from the incidents presented by the subjects,were categorised. The process of categorisation brought forth a distinction that could be made between responses of factors that were meaningful in themselves; and responses that were mere indicators of meaning. Three major headings emerged: PERSONAL QUALITIES, PERCEIVED COMMONALITY or PERCEIVED DIFFERENCES, and SITUATIONAL which seemed to encompass the core of the meaning of these factors which influence the self-disclosing process. Subcategories which included the indicators of meaning were placed under these headings. Thus a system for deriving meaning from past and future disparate research was developed; a parallel was drawn between these results and the core conditions of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness; and the implications of these results on the selection and training of counsellors were discussed.

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