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The Psychology of Secrets : The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology - Anita E. Kelly

The Psychology of Secrets

The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology

Hardcover Published: 31st January 2002
ISBN: 9780306466571
Number Of Pages: 263

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On an MTV special aired in 2000, young interviewees were asked to confess the worse thing they were ever told during a romantic breakup. One person tearfully responded "that I suck in bed. " More recently, an acquaintance of mine admitted to his new girlfriend that he "has a mean streak. " She decided not to date him after that. Another memorable and painful example of openness occurred years ago when I served as a member of a suicide intervention team. I was called to a very disturbing scene in an upscale neighborhood to console a woman who was threaten­ ing to take her life on the lawn in front of her children. Her husband had just confessed his long-term affair to her that morning and she felt that her world was coming apart. Fortunately, she did not take her life but was left with the humiliation of haVing her neighbors know about her private troubles. The question these examples bring to mind is, "Why do people so often reveal potentially stigmatizing personal information to others?" The reader probably has an intuitive answer to this question already. It can seem like such a burden-even torture-to keep secrets from other people. Hiding such things as feelings of discontent from a boyfriend or girlfriend, violations of the law from close friends, and indiscretions from employers can be alienating. People want others to know them; therefore they often end up disclosing self-incriminating information.

From the reviews:
"This book comprehensively delves into the psychological positives and negatives of revealing ones personal secrets. [...] The author is a credible researcher and educator, and her expertise is evident. A comprehensive understanding of the inner working of secrets is provided. Readers are given new insights into why we reveal our deepest and most hidden thoughts. Highlights include the basic definition of secrecy, problems that lead to secrecy, and secrecy in psychotherapy. I especially enjoyed the chapter on the health benefits of revealing. This book is worthwhile to read and review and will be of value to social and clinical psychologists. Despite the cost, I see it possibly as a supplementary text for advanced graduate level psychology courses. This book is recommended for those seeking strong research on the psychology of secrets."
(Nicholas Greco IV, M.S. Abbott Laboratories)
"Anyone interested in the nature of communication in friendships, intimate relationships, or psychotherapy will find the author's many insights both edifying and useful. Highly recommended for readers at all levels."
(Choice, September 2002)

The Nature of Secrecyp. 1
Defining Secrecyp. 3
How Common Is Secrecy?p. 9
Types of Secrets People Keepp. 10
Why People Keep Secretsp. 15
Rules of Revealing Secretsp. 16
Why People Reveal Secretsp. 17
Conclusionp. 21
Individual Differences in Secret Keepingp. 23
Correlates of Unconscious Inhibition and the Repressive Coping Stylep. 24
Correlates of Conscious Inhibitionp. 31
Profile of a Secret Keeperp. 38
Why Secrecy Is Linked to Problemsp. 41
Inhibition Modelp. 42
Preoccupation Modelp. 47
Self-Perception Modelp. 54
Diminishes Social Supportp. 56
A Predispositional Explanationp. 57
Conclusionp. 63
Health Benefits of Revealingp. 67
Revealing Traumatic versus Trivial Eventsp. 69
Revealing to a Psychotherapist versus Revealing Privatelyp. 72
Writing versus Talkingp. 74
Revealing Previously Disclosed versus Undisclosed Eventsp. 75
Revealing Real versus Imagined Traumasp. 76
Healthy Undergraduates versus Clinical Samplesp. 77
Meta-analysesp. 78
Summaryp. 78
Conclusionp. 79
What Is It about Revealing Secrets That Is Beneficial?p. 81
New Insightsp. 81
Catharsisp. 85
New Insights versus Catharsisp. 88
Study 1p. 89
Study 2p. 91
Discussionp. 96
Conclusionp. 98
Secrecy and Openness in Psychotherapyp. 101
Theoretical Perspectives on the Role of Clients' Opennessp. 103
Empirical Findings on the Role of Clients' Openness in Therapyp. 117
Conclusionp. 126
Why Openness May Not Be Therapeutic: A Self-Presentational View of Psychotherapyp. 129
Self-Presentation Researchp. 132
Self-Presentational View of Client Changep. 141
Conclusionp. 157
Dilemmas to Revealing Secrets and the Role of the Confidantp. 161
Negative Consequences of Revealing Secretsp. 164
Positive Consequences of Revealing Secretsp. 174
Consequences of Revealing May Depend on the Confidantp. 178
Features of Helpful Confidantsp. 181
Optimal Number of Confidantsp. 185
Conclusionp. 185
When to Reveal Personal Secrets in a Particular Relationshipp. 187
Proposed Model for When to Revealp. 191
Options to Revealing the Complete Truthp. 203
Limitationsp. 209
Summaryp. 214
Testing the Model with Sample Secretsp. 214
Conclusionp. 216
Referencesp. 219
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780306466571
ISBN-10: 0306466570
Series: The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 263
Published: 31st January 2002
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 1.26