Countertransference in Swedish psychotherapists: testing the factor structure of the Therapist Response Questionnaire

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Johan Berg *
Lars-Gunnar Lundh
Fredrik Falkenström
(*) Corresponding Author:
Johan Berg | johan.berg@soch.lu.se

Abstract

Questionnaires need testing of reliability and factor structure before clinical use or research in new languages or cultures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Therapist Response Questionnaire (TRQ) in Sweden compared to corresponding factor analyses in USA and Italy. A national sample of psychotherapists (N=242) registered their countertransference with a single client using TRQ. The data were analyzed with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to test factor structures from previous studies, and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The CFA did not verify the factor structure from the previous studies. The EFA extracted seven factors as the best solution: Helpless/Inadequate, Overwhelmed/Disorganized, Hostile/Angry, Parental/Protective, Disengaged, Special/Overinvolved, Sexualized. Analysis of convergent validity indicated that five of these could be considered equivalent to factors in the previous studies, and the remaining two were conceptually related to corresponding factors. Even though the factor structure was not confirmed by the CFA, the concordance was large, indicating a reliable self-report instrument with promising validity for measurement of complex aspects of countertransference. Common countertransference themes can inform psychotherapy supervision and education, give feedback to the therapist, and lay ground for a taxonomy for therapist reactions and feelings.


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