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July 2021

Constructing desirable identities-self-presentation in psychotherapy and daily life: Comment on Kelly (2000)

Author(s): Hermann, A. D.

Journal/Book: Psychol Bull. 2000; 126: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, USA. Amer Psychological Assoc. 501-504.

Abstract: A. E. Kelly's (2000) thesis that psychotherapy clients benefit from withholding negative information is considered in light of current social-psychological theory and research. Positive illusions about oneself are associated with indexes of mental health; this is consistent with treating therapy as positive identity development. Self-presentation can shape self-concept, even apart from the feedback that an audience might provide; the social construction of identity is a powerful process, suggesting that withholding negative and presenting only positive information is adaptive. However, evidence concerning the level of identification of one's actions suggests complexities in understanding ways clients might deal with disclosing negative information; the authors argue that the impact on self-concept is probably more complex than A. E. Kelly's characterization and that the implications are of a broader scope than indicated so far.

Note: Article Arkin RM, Ohio State Univ, Dept Psychol, 1885 Neil Ave Mall, Columbus,OH 43210 USA


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