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Researcher and Therapist: The Conversations of the Qualitative Interview
Unformatted Document Text:  15 Conversation this easier for you than someone else?”) that not only encourage further information important to the interview task, but also allow an opportunity for the participant to explore her own process of meaning-making. These offerings of dual experience occurred frequently in the text of the interviews. They reflect the various environments encountered by participants and the acceptance or rejection of a gay or lesbian identity as portrayed by external populations. When presented with these dual narratives, the interviewer often encouraged a focus on the positive experience of identity. As a result, the data reflect a mixture of both positive and negative images, without consistently privileging one account over another. Therapist/researcher self-disclosure. Kottler (1994, p. 167) described self-disclosure as “the single most difficult therapist skill to use appropriately and judiciously.” Self-disclosure is utilized by therapists as a way to model effective behaviors, encourage trust and openness, and establish a sense of equality within the therapeutic relationship. Self-disclosure by therapists to clients is a controversial strategy within the discipline of psychology. While some clinicians feel it enriches the therapeutic experience and encourages greater revelations by clients, others view it as an invasion of privacy that places the therapist in a vulnerable position (Egan, 1994). The dialog of these interviews contains self-disclosing statements by the interviewer that influenced the nature of the participants’ responses in various ways. The following two examples will serve to illustrate some of the ways in which self-disclosure was utilized within the interviews and how it affected the quality of the interaction between the interviewer and participant. Exemplar 3

Authors: Kelly, Nancy.
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background image
15
Conversation
this easier for you than someone else?”) that not only encourage further information important to
the interview task, but also allow an opportunity for the participant to explore her own process of
meaning-making.
These offerings of dual experience occurred frequently in the text of the interviews. They
reflect the various environments encountered by participants and the acceptance or rejection of a
gay or lesbian identity as portrayed by external populations. When presented with these dual
narratives, the interviewer often encouraged a focus on the positive experience of identity. As a
result, the data reflect a mixture of both positive and negative images, without consistently
privileging one account over another.
Therapist/researcher self-disclosure. Kottler (1994, p. 167) described self-disclosure as
“the single most difficult therapist skill to use appropriately and judiciously.” Self-disclosure is
utilized by therapists as a way to model effective behaviors, encourage trust and openness, and
establish a sense of equality within the therapeutic relationship. Self-disclosure by therapists to
clients is a controversial strategy within the discipline of psychology. While some clinicians feel
it enriches the therapeutic experience and encourages greater revelations by clients, others view it
as an invasion of privacy that places the therapist in a vulnerable position (Egan, 1994).
The dialog of these interviews contains self-disclosing statements by the interviewer that
influenced the nature of the participants’ responses in various ways. The following two examples
will serve to illustrate some of the ways in which self-disclosure was utilized within the
interviews and how it affected the quality of the interaction between the interviewer and
participant.
Exemplar 3


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