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Interactional positioning and narrative self-construction in the first session of psychodynamic-interpersonal psychotherapy

By A. Madill, C. Sermpezis and M. Barkham


The purpose of this study is to identify possible session one indicators of end of treatment psychotherapy outcome using the framework of three types of interactional positioning; client’s self-positioning, client’s positioning between narrated self and different partners, and the positioning between client and therapist. Three successful cases of 8-session psychodynamic-interpersonal (PI) therapy were selected on the basis of client Beck Depression Inventory scores. One unsuccessful case was also selected against which identified patterns could be tested. The successful clients were more descriptive about their problems and demonstrated active rapport-building, while the therapist used positionings expressed by the client in order to explore the positionings developed between them during therapy. The unsuccessful case was characterized by lack of positive self-comment, minimization of agentic self-capacity, and empathy-disrupting narrative confusions. We conclude that the theory of interactional positioning has been useful in identifying patterns worth exploring as early indicators of success in PI therapy

Publisher: Routledge Journals
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

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