Part 4: Listen / Reflect / Intervene



Key concepts

the basic technique of psychodynamic psychotherapy can be divided into three steps:




Although we don’t usually think about it, talking to another person involves a three-step process. We listen to what the other person has to say, we process what we have heard, and we respond. Ideally, in a social relationship, people listen and respond to each other in a fairly balanced way But the therapeutic relationship, unlike most social relationships, is lopsided. Consequently, the set up in a psychdynamic therapy is that the focus is exclusively on the problems brought by the patient. Although the patient listens to the therapist, what the therapist has to say is generally about the patient, rather than about him/herself.

Thus, therapists must train themselves to listen and respond in a new way.

In this manual, we will teach you the basic techniques of pstchodynamic therapy using three basic steps.




Listening is the step in which we bring in data, reflecting is the step in which we process that data and decide when and how to intervene, and intervening is the step in which we verbally interact with the patient in order to uncover unconscious material or support weakened ego function. We will first review each of these steps, and we will then apply them to the major elements that we listen for in psychodynamic psychotherapy.






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