Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 78 Issue 4 (December 2005), Pages 331-569

How to address patients' defences: A pilot study of the accuracy of defence interpretations and alliance (pages 419-430)

This pilot study examined the accuracy of therapist defence interpretations (TAD) in high‐alliance patients (N=7) and low‐alliance patients (N=8). TAD accuracy was assessed in the two subgroups by comparing for each case the patient's most frequent defensive level with the most frequent defensive level addressed by the therapist when making defence interpretations. Results show that in high‐alliance patient‐therapist dyads, the therapists tend to address accurate or higher (more mature) defensive level than patients most frequent level. On the other hand, the therapists address lower (more immature) defensive level in low‐alliance dyads. These results are discussed along with possible ways to better assess TAD accuracy.

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