What are the experiences of therapeutic rupture and repair for clients and therapists within long-term psychodynamic therapy?

Donna Haskayne*, Michael Larkin, Rachel Hirschfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite outcome research demonstrating that a rupture-repair process in the therapeutic relationship can be beneficial, there is a lack of qualitative research on ruptures and how they are repaired. This study explored parallel accounts of therapeutic ruptures produced by clients and therapists during long-term psychodynamic therapy. Interviews were conducted with four client-therapist dyads and were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Themes found included: clients' experience of the danger of emotional experience (Negative emotions as dangerous); accounts of the discovery during therapy being a difficult and gradual experience (Therapeutic discovery; gradual and hard work; to and fro); the experience of the hurdles within the therapeutic relationship (The struggle; not knowing; control and power); then followed by a connection (The positive connection; emotional sensitivity; shining a light). The results are discussed in relation to a number of core concepts in psychodynamic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-86
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Psychotherapy
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
  • Long-Term Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Therapeutic Repair
  • Therapeutic Rupture

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