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Boundaries and Self-Disclosure

How much information is too much?


It can often be difficult to know how much personal information to share in a professional setting with the people we support, and what crosses the line and is too personal. Finding this balance is becoming more complicated as communication is increasingly digital, text based, and exists on a variety of social media platforms. 

Used judiciously and skillfully, self-disclosure can be an effective tool for building rapport and creating a trusting therapeutic relationship. Its use, however, presents a risk to the worker and potentially the program participant. If a worker doesn’t share anything about their personality, it is hard to build rapport and create an inclusive environment for the person seeking services. If a worker over-discloses, it can cause disruption to rapport and reduce the worker’s credibility. Self-disclosure can catch a worker off-guard, so it is important to plan ahead for responses to questions and ensure any personal disclosures by the worker are intentional and for the benefit of the progress of the person seeking services. This class explores best practices in this difficult area.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore the purpose and function of self-disclosure

  • Articulate the hallmark of effective self-disclosure

  • Recognize that effective self-disclosure is situational and individual

  • Examine the impact of social media and technology

Board Accreditation

MN Board of Social Work

2.0 CEUs (CEP-275)

MN Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy

LADC: 2.0 CEUs (2023.CE.ADC.126)
LPC/LPCC: 2.0 CEUs (2023.CE.381) 

MN Board of Nursing

This activity has been designed to meet the Minnesota Board of Nursing continuing education requirements. However, the nurse is responsible for determining whether this activity meets the requirements for acceptable continuing education.

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