The Psychology of Secrets by Anita E. KellyThe Psychology of Secrets by Anita E. Kelly

The Psychology of Secrets

byAnita E. Kelly

Paperback | September 18, 2012

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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.
Title:The Psychology of SecretsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:263 pagesPublished:September 18, 2012Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1461351936

ISBN - 13:9781461351931


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.

Editorial Reviews

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)