The Psychology of Secrets

Overview

The public revelation of what were once considered extremely private matters is becoming a new social norm. Has this movement toward openness gone too far? Are there negative consequences to revealing secrets? When and why is it helpful to reveal secrets? What can be done to alleviate the burden of secrecy? Will the anguish of keeping a secret pass in time? What factors should enter into deciding to reveal a secret? This book addresses these questions.
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Paperback (Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2002)
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Overview

The public revelation of what were once considered extremely private matters is becoming a new social norm. Has this movement toward openness gone too far? Are there negative consequences to revealing secrets? When and why is it helpful to reveal secrets? What can be done to alleviate the burden of secrecy? Will the anguish of keeping a secret pass in time? What factors should enter into deciding to reveal a secret? This book addresses these questions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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)
From The Critics
Kelly (U. of Notre Dame) considers the psychological benefits and drawbacks to revealing personal and potentially stigmatizing secrets. Drawing upon clinical and social psychological research, she explains why people keep secrets, how revealing secrets can lead to health benefits, and when revealing secrets can be harmful—even in psychotherapy sessions. Kelly also describes how different types of feedback from confidants can dramatically alter the outcomes of revealing. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This book comprehensively delves into the psychological positives and negatives of revealing ones personal secrets.
Purpose: The purpose is to identify the processes behind revealing personal secrets across different people and settings. This book is supported by empirical research in the field and the author's own personal experiments. The author meets her objectives and provides novel insights.
Audience: This book is intended mainly for students and professionals within the field of psychology; however, individuals in the field of psychiatry may find this book of interest as well. The author is a credible researcher and educator, and her expertise is evident.
Features: 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. A shortcoming of the book would be the price, which is considerable.
Assessment: 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.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781461351931
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 9/28/2012
  • Series: Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology
  • Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2002
  • Pages: 263
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface.
1. Nature of Secrecy.
2. Individual Differences in Secret Keeping.
3. Explaining Why Secrecy is Linked to Problems.
4. Health Benefits of Revealing.
5. What is it About Revealing Secrets that is Beneficial?
6. Secrecy and Openness in Psychotherapy.
7. Explaining Why Openness May Not be Therapeutic: A Self-Presentational View of Psychotherapy.
8. Dilemmas to Revealing Secrets and the Role of the Confidant.
9. When to Reveal Personal Secrets in a Particular Relationship.
Index.
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