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Chapter 2. Techniques of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Glen O. Gabbard, M.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585623648.366380

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Psychodynamic psychotherapy has been characterized by a variety of labels over the years: psychoanalytic psychotherapy, intensive psychotherapy, insight-oriented psychotherapy, expressive-supportive psychotherapy, and exploratory psychotherapy, to name a few. They are all essentially synonymous. This modality derives from the principles of psychoanalysis. Whereas psychoanalysis is generally conducted at a frequency of three to five times per week, with the patient supine on a couch, psychoanalytic psychotherapy is more typically provided once or twice per week, with the patient sitting up.

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Figure 2–1. An expressive-supportive continuum of interventions.Source. Reprinted from Gabbard GO: Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Basic Text. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2004, p. 63. Copyright 2004, American Psychiatric Publishing. Used with permission.
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Table 2–1. Elements of assessment for psychodynamic psychotherapy
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Table 2–2. Primitive and higher-level defense mechanisms
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Table 2–3. Goals of psychodynamic psychotherapy
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Table 2–4. Varieties of termination

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