Are relationship patterns with significant others reenacted with the therapist?: a study of early transference reactions.
ABSTRACT This study examines how patients' relationship patterns are reenacted with the therapist during the first sessions of psychotherapy. Forty (N = 40) outpatients treated with a Brief Psychodynamic Intervention were included in the study. Their narratives of relationship episodes with significant others (e.g., mother, father, romantic partner, colleagues) were compared with relationship episodes with their therapist using the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme method. The Core Conflictual Relationship Theme focuses on 3 aspects of patients' relationship narratives: what the patient wants from others or from self; how others react to his/her wish; and how the patient consequently reacts. Results showed that 60% of patients display similar relationship patterns with their therapist and with significant others. The patterns that were reenacted with the therapist were not the most pervasive ones but were similar to those found in relationship episodes involving parents or romantic partners. These findings provide some support for the clinical concept of repetition of internalized relational patterns with the therapist very early in psychotherapy. Clinical implications are discussed.
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- "Patients tend to spontaneously enact their object relations patterns in the patient-therapist relationship (Beretta et al., 2007; Connolly, Crits-Christoph, Barber, & Luborsky, 2000), a phenomenon that has been described as transference in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy. The definition of transference is still quite debatable and major psychoanalytic groups have their own perspective on it: e.g., the narrow definition of Freud and ego psychology, the totalistic definition of Klein and the British object relationship theorists, or the intersubjective definition (see Harris  for a review). "
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to report on the development and the initial validation of the Object Relations Rating Scale (ORRS), which is a measure of in-session enactments of object relations that draws on a psychodynamic conceptualization of personality organization. Forty participants were included in the study, distributed among neurotic, borderline and psychotic personality organizations (PO). Results showed that the interrater reliability of this new measure is good. Two tests of criterion validity support the validity of the measure: the ORRS discriminates well between the three PO groups and it correlates in expected ways with five PO dimensions. Finally, ORRS scales that pertain to the degree of in-session object relation enactments correlated with a measure of transference intensity (convergent validity), and correlations with therapists experience were low as expected (discriminant validity).Psychotherapy Research 03/2012; 22(4):402-16. DOI:10.1080/10503307.2012.662606 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The concept of object relations has been shown to be relevant for the process and outcome of psychodynamic psychotherapies. However, little is known about its relevance for the psychotherapeutic treatment of depression. In this study, we explored the predictive value of object relational functioning (ORF) for the therapeutic alliance and outcome of short-term psychodynamic supportive psychotherapy in patients with mild to moderately severe depression. The ORF of 81 patients was rated by using the Developmental Profile. The overall maturity of ORF measured at baseline was higher in patients who showed a better treatment response. In multiple regression analysis, the adaptive level of individuation appeared to be specifically predictive of outcome. Patients with a recurrent depression showed less mature levels of ORF, lower adaptive levels and a higher score on the symbiotic level. No association was found between ORF and therapeutic alliance during treatment. In contrast to the single measure of alliance early in therapy, the growth of the alliance was related to outcome. The study indicated the relevance of ORF for depression and established that it is distinctive from the actual therapeutic alliance.The Journal of nervous and mental disease 10/2008; 196(9):655-62. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e318183f8c2 · 1.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background/Aim. Working alliance, as a collaborative part of the therapeutic relationship has been proven to be one of the most powerful therapeutic factors in psychotherapy in general, regardless many technical differences between nu- merous psychotherapeutic modalities. On the other hand, transference is the basic concept of psychodynamic psycho- therapy, and, according to the psychoanalytic theory and prac- tice, it forms a major part of the therapeutic relationship. The aim of our paper was to determine the differences between the groups of patients with low, middle, and high working alliance scores and the dropout group in transference patterns, socio- demographic and clinical parameters, during the early phase of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Methods. Our sample con- sisted of 61 non-psychotic patients, randomly selected by the method of consecutive admissions and treated with psycho- analytic psychotherapy in the outpatient clinical setting. The patients were prospectively followed during 5 initial sessions of the therapeutic process. The working alliance inventory and Core conflictual relationship theme method were used for the estimation of working alliance and transference patterns, re- spectively. According to the Working Alliance Inventory scores, four groups of patients were formed and than com- pared. Results. Our results show a significant difference be- tween the groups of patients with low, middle, and high working alliance inventory scores and the dropout group on the variable – transference patterns in the therapeutic relation- ship. Conclusion. Disharmonious transference patterns are more frequent in patients who form poor quality working alli- ance in the early phase of psychotherapy, or early dropout psychotherapy. It is of great importance to recognize transfer- ence patterns of a patient at the beginning of the psychothera- peutic process, because of their potentially harmful influence on the quality of working alliance.Vojnosanitetski pregled. Military-medical and pharmaceutical review 02/2014; 71(2):175-183. · 0.27 Impact Factor