Honest disclosure is central to the work of all psychotherapy. But, clients are not always honest with their therapists. They keep secrets, avoid or minimize discussion of personally salient topics, and sometimes tell outright lies. This book examines the nature of lies and concealment in everyday life and in therapy, with a focus on the process by which patients keep secrets and lie to their therapists. Using the results of two comprehensive studies involving over 1,000 clients, the authors discuss common lies told by therapy clients about a wide range of issues including sex, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, trauma, feelings about the therapist and the progress of therapy. The lies therapists tell to their patients (e.g. regarding feelings of frustration with clients) are also examined. Throughout, the authors emphasize ways therapists can prevent or at least minimize client concealment, and show readers how to honestly and respectfully wrestle with the natural reluctance we all share toward disclosing the truth about our experiences.
About the Authors:
Barry A. Farber, PhD, received his doctorate from Yale University in 1978. He has been a member of the clinical psychology faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University since 1979. He was director of clinical training for 24 years and served two stints as department chair. He is a widely published author. He served 6 years on the Executive Council of the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) Division 29 (Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy), maintains a private practice, and currently serves as editor of the Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session. Barry is based in New York City. Visit https://sites.google.com/a/tc.columbia.edu/farberlabs/.
Matt Blanchard, PhD, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received his doctorate from Columbia University in 2017. Previously a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and editor-in-chief of the Graduate Student Journal of Psychology, he is now in clinical practice as a staff psychologist at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Melanie Love, MA, graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University and will receive her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in 2019. Her research focusing on factors affecting disclosure of sexual content in psychotherapy has been published in Psychotherapy Research and the Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, and her masters thesis was the recipient of APA Division 29’s Donald K. Freedheim award in 2017. She was previously the editor-in-chief of the Graduate Student Journal of Psychology. Melanie is currently in clinical practice as a doctoral intern at Temple University’s Counseling Center. Melanie lives in Philadelphia.