Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 82 Issue 4 (December 2009), Pages 355-466

Let's look at the elephant: Metasynthesis of transference case studies for psychodynamic and cognitive psychotherapy integration (pages 427-447)

Objectives. Although the movement towards psychotherapy integration is gaining momentum, theoretical polarization still prevails and prevents integration from maturing. This study strives for theoretical integration, shedding light on relations between two concepts from diametrically opposed therapies: the psychodynamic concept of transference and the cognitive concept of overgeneralization.

Design. A qualitative metasynthetic study.

Method. The study maps core conflictual relationship themes transference components, codes other meaning units, and analyses relationship between categories. These procedures apply to published transference case descriptions.

Results. Of the 33 case studies, 30 (about 90%) were shown to include overgeneralization thinking distortion. In all these cases, such overgeneralization concerned a central theme in the same category as Luborsky's components of transference. The results show that overgeneralization thinking errors (cognitive therapy) are the current cognitive manifestation of the transference patterns (psychoanalytic therapy). This observation maps the complementary character of the concepts and thus takes an additional significant step forward towards the consolidation of a theoretical platform for integrative intervention.

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