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Chapter 3. Techniques of Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Mantosh Dewan, M.D.; Priyanthy Weerasekera, M.D., M.Ed.; Lynn Stormon, Ph.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585623648.366707

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Excerpt

All brief therapies, not just brief psychodynamic psychotherapy (BPP), evolved from psychoanalytic roots. Freud reported on psychoanalytic therapies that lasted 1 week (Katherine), 7 weeks (Emmy von N), and 9 weeks (Lucie R) and the cure of Gustav Mahler's impotence in a single, 4-hour session (Breuer and Freud 1893–1895; Jones 1957). Freud's followers defined and formally introduced the key ingredients of brief therapy: increased therapist activity, a limit on the length of treatment and/or number of sessions, narrowed treatment focus, and restricted patient selection criteria (Table 3–1). Today, research validates the efficacy of BPP, and practitioners are extending the reach of this approach by introducing innovative techniques such as block therapy (Davanloo 2004) and by treating new populations. For instance, Milrod et al. (2007) conducted the first randomized controlled trial of panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy in patients with panic disorder and found it to be effective.

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Figure 3–1. Traditional psychoanalytic triangles of insight.Note. A = anxiety; C = person in current relationship; D = defenses; I-F = impulse or feeling; P = person in past relationship; T = therapist.
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Table 3–1. Key techniques of brief psychodynamic psychotherapy: earliest contributions
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Table 3–2. Differences between brief and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy
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Table 3–3. Brief dynamic psychotherapy inclusion and exclusion criteria
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Table 3–4. Brief dynamic models of psychotherapy

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