Psychodynamic therapy is an effective treatment for depression. However, a large number of adolescent patients with depression do not respond and/or drop out of therapy and little is known about what therapists actually do in therapy with adolescents. Thus, more research is needed to explore the various actions that therapists do in therapy, so that therapists can tailor their therapy more specifically to each individual adolescent. The present study aimed to investigate how the experience of psychotherapists differs between two treatment modes for adolescents with depression: psychodynamic psychotherapy with and without transference interventions. In-depth interviews were conducted with six therapists. The data, which were analyzed using thematic analysis, generated three key themes: (1) The therapists experienced that transference interventions are often useful in therapies with adolescents with depression, (2) therapies without transference interventions can be challenging for therapists, but still helpful for patients, and (3) the experience contributed to the deepening recognition of therapists that they always need to adapt their techniques to the particular patient. The results enhance our knowledge of the significance of therapists’ actions in therapy with adolescents. The therapists highlighted issues that are important for identifying barriers to incorporating new knowledge into clinical practice.
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