Development through interruptions and reparations – A case study of a mutually challenging psychotherapy
Original versionEuropean Journal of Psychotherapy. 2010, 12, 287-302, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642537.2010.530080
AbstractThe aim of this study was to understand how relational difficulties in psychotherapy may be handled to represent possibilities for change. Temporary interruptions and subsequent reestablishment of contact were chosen as the strategic focus in one severely challenging case of long term psychodynamic psychotherapy where outcome was known to be good. Interruptions and reestablishments were conceptualised by how the informants gave meaning to them. The choice of focus represented a strategic selection of events in the course of therapy where the regulation of the alliance by the therapist as well as by the patient was at stake. A detailed case record was studied and interviews with patient and therapist were conducted. A hermeneutical-phenomenological approach was used to analyse the material. The narrative dimension was important in structuring and interpreting the data. It was shown how important relational difficulties, such as mutual incompatible expectations and demands was handled both on a structural and interpersonal level, and some important steps and hallmarks of the healing process was identified. Close inspection of the course of events in psychotherapies is seen as a promising method for bringing a better understanding of how change processes unfold.
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling Copyright 2010 Taylor & Francis, available online