Transference interpretations as predictors of increased insight and affect expression in a single case of long-term psychoanalysis

  • Yasemin Sohtorik İlkmen | Department of Psychology, Boğaziçi University, Bebek, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Sibel Halfon Department of Psychology, Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey.


Improved insight and affect expression have been associated with specific effects of transference work in psychodynamic psychotherapy. However, the micro-associations between these variables as they occur within the sessions have not been studied. The present study investigated whether the analyst’s transference interpretations predicted changes in a patient’s insight and emotion expression in her language during the course of a long-term psychoanalysis. 449 thematic units from 30 sessions coming from different years of psychoanalysis were coded by outside raters for analyst’s use of transference interpretations using Transference Work Scale, and patient’s insight, positive emotions, anger and sadness were calculated using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count System. Multilevel modeling analyses indicated that transference interpretations positively predicted patient’s insight and positive emotion words and negatively predicted anger and sadness. The qualitative micro-analyses of selected sessions showed that the opportunity to explore negative emotions within the transference relationship reduced the patient’s avoidance of such feelings, generated insight into negative relational patterns, and helped form more balanced representations of self and others that allowed for positive feelings. The findings were discussed for clinical implications and future research directions.


Download data is not yet available.

PlumX Metrics

PlumX Metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment. Examples include, when research is mentioned in the news or is tweeted about. Collectively known as PlumX Metrics, these metrics are divided into five categories to help make sense of the huge amounts of data involved and to enable analysis by comparing like with like.

Transference interventions; Insight; Emotions; Empirical case study
Abstract views: 329

PDF: 260
Share it
How to Cite
Sohtorik İlkmen, Y., & Halfon, S. (2019). Transference interpretations as predictors of increased insight and affect expression in a single case of long-term psychoanalysis. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 22(3).