Perceptions of self-disclosing counselors among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals

Lindsay A. Borden, Charles T. Lopresto, Martin F. Sherman, Heather Z. Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study tested the effect of counselor self-disclosure on lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals' perceptions of counselor expertness, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. A national sample of 275 lesbian, gay, and bisexual university students was recruited for an online survey. Participants were randomly assigned to read a written vignette with varying levels of counselor self-disclosure. Ac-cording to an a priori comparison test, lesbian, gay, and bisexual participants who received professional and personal background disclosure rated the counselor as significantly more expert, trust-worthy, and attractive than participants who received professional background disclosure alone. An overall main effect for therapist self-disclosure was also revealed by multivariate analysis of vari-ance. These findings were consistent with the study's hypotheses and previous research in the area of counselor self-disclosure. Practice implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-69
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of LGBT Issues in Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bisexual
  • Counseling
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Self-disclosure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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