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Ness, E. Dahl, H.J. Critchfield, K.L. Ulberg, R. (2018). Exploring In-Session Process with Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Psychotherapy with an Adolescent. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 17(4):310-327.

(2018). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 17(4):310-327

Exploring In-Session Process with Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Psychotherapy with an Adolescent

Elisabeth Ness, M.D., Ph.D.-student, Hanne-Sofie Johnsen Dahl, Psy.D., Ph.D., Kenneth L. Critchfield, Ph.D. and Randi Ulberg, M.D., Ph.D.

There is emerging evidence for the effect of psychotherapy in adolescents with depression. Research indicates that therapists often use techniques from different theoretical models when working with adults. Research on the therapy process in adolescents is scarce. We explore the therapist’s interventions in a time-limited psychodynamic adolescent therapy with Susanna suffering from major depression. Susanna quite suddenly became worse at mid-treatment, with self-harming and suicidal ideations. Rating scales for analyzing in-session relational processes included the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB), the Adolescent Psychotherapy Q-set (APQ), and the Transference Work Scale (TWS). Self-reports on symptoms, interpersonal problems, and working alliance were obtained before, during, and at the end of and one year after treatment. Different tools seemed to expose different aspects of the process and the patient’s development. Only patient-rated questionnaires revealed the mid-treatment crises. Combining different and pan-theoretical rating scales on here-and-now interventions (TWS and SASB) and whole sessions (APQ), as well as clinician-rated measures and a variety of self-reports, indicated that different psychotherapeutic techniques were integrated in the therapy and seemed beneficial to patient’s outcome. The therapist adhered to the treatment manual. This way of exploring the therapy process may be used for different treatment modalities.

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