Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Joseph, Rigaud


The use of self-disclosure in clinical practice has been a controversial issue among professionals across many helping professions, including social work. The guidance on self-disclosure from the National Association of Social Workers, via its code of ethics, has been arguably vague. As a result, the topic remains ambiguous within the social work profession. Using a Grounded Theory approach, this study aimed to obtain the perceptions of 137 graduate social work students on the use of self-disclosure in practice. Through three major themes and six sub-themes, the results confirmed the lack of clarity pertaining to the use of self-disclosure in social work practice. A thorough discussion of the implications of the findings for theory, research, and social work are provided.

Keywords: self-disclosure, social work practice, National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, Grounded Theory

Included in

Social Work Commons