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Molnos, A. (1984). The Two Triangles are Four: A Diagram to Teach the Process of Dynamic Brief Psychotherapy. Brit. J. Psychother., 1(2):112-125.

(1984). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 1(2):112-125

The Two Triangles are Four: A Diagram to Teach the Process of Dynamic Brief Psychotherapy

Angela Molnos

The purpose of this article is to present the reader with a diagram of four triangles which is a further development of the triangle of person and the triangle of conflict (Malan, 1979, p. 80). The new diagram has been devised by the author as a visual aid to explain and to teach the process of dynamic psychotherapy in general and a specific confronting technique in particular. The technique has been developed by H. Davanloo, Montreal, and conceptualized and promoted in this country by D. H. Malan. During the last years before his retirement in September 1982, the latter had ceased to advocate his own approach to brief psychotherapy and concentrated instead on the theoretical analysis and practical application of this particular technique. The author's knowledge of this technique is based on Malan's teaching and on her own clinical experience. While the diagram itself is an original contribution, the ideas it purports to illustrate belong to the psychoanalytic tradition. Some of these ideas leading up to Malan's conceptualization, his two triangles and this new technique will be briefly outlined. It will be explained why and how the diagram of the four triangles came about and how it can be used to facilitate the understanding of the technique described.

1. Conceptualization of Dynamic Brief Psychotherapy and the Two Triangles

In the following we want to show some major landmarks that led Malan to develop a scientific framework for dynamic brief psychotherapy and to crystallize its basic concepts in the two triangles.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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