Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Danielle Knafo, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Eva Feindler, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Zvi Weiss, Psy.D.


The following qualitative study explored how psychodynamic clinicians approach and use self-disclosure with patients over telehealth platforms. There is an abundance of research on therapist self-disclosure, with discussion of this topic dating back as early as Freud (1912) and Ferenczi (1933), and since spanning the spectrum of theoretical orientation and practice. There is some literature on psychotherapy over telehealth, with a recent surge in research as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is less research on psychodynamic therapy or psychoanalysis over telehealth (Wolson, 2021), and to the author’s knowledge, no research on therapist self-disclosure and telehealth. This study aimed to uncover what clinicians are actually doing on the other side of the screen and will hopefully inform future therapists working over telehealth, as teletherapy appears to be a wave of the future. For this study, 11 doctoral level clinical psychologists and psychoanalysts participated in individual interviews with the author via online video conferencing. Individual interviews were conducted to: (a) investigate whether clinicians’ use of self-disclosure changes when using telehealth, (b) explore whether telehealth creates greater opportunities for both deliberate and inevitable disclosures, and (c) better understand the way clinicians process the impact of self-disclosure. Using a grounded theory approach to qualitative research (Auerbach and Silverstein, 2003), all interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed to extrapolate themes and theoretical constructs, and to create a narrative. Results yielded five theoretical constructs, 12 themes, and 56 repeating ideas that combine to create the narrative. Discussion contextualizes the data using aspects of relational theory, particularly mutuality in psychoanalysis (Aron, 1996).