Interaction Structure and Transferential Patterns in Brief Psychotherapy: A Single-case Study
AbstractNowadays it is sufficiently accepted that the therapeutic action of psychotherapy is expected to lie at the interface between two dimensions: identification and interpretation of the patient's dysfunctional relationship patterns arising in the relationship with the clinician. This can only happen, however, if there is a temporal space where the transference-countertransference reactions to be explored and understood can emerge (Jones, 2000). The limited number of sessions characterizing short-term psychotherapy does not seem to allow the unfolding of these dynamics, thus suggesting that the therapeutic action of this approach lies outside the patient-therapist relationship. The aim of this study is to investigate the possibility that, even within the few sessions that characterize short-term psychotherapy, the dynamics of transferencecountertransference typical of the patient's dysfunctional relationship patterns do in fact emerge. For this purpose, a study has been made of the patterns of patient-therapist interaction, measured by the Psychotherapy Process Q-set. The patterns identified are related to the change found in the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme, allowing reflection on the role played by alternating interaction patterns in the variation of the patient's intrapsychic conflicts in this psychotherapy model.
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