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Løvgren, A. Røssberg, J.I. Engebretsen, E. Ulberg, R. (2020). Multiple Mutuality. Positions and Storylines in Adolescent Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 19(3):239-254.

(2020). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 19(3):239-254

Multiple Mutuality. Positions and Storylines in Adolescent Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

André Løvgren, MHSc, Jan Ivar Røssberg, MD, PhD, Eivind Engebretsen, MPhil, PhD and Randi Ulberg, MD, PhD

In the psychodynamic psychotherapy of adolescents, a mutual relationship is a central and often reoccurring theme. However, what this mutuality consists of and how adolescents experience this seems to have been the subject of scant investigation or conceptualization. Thus, the aim of the present study was to obtain a more comprehensive insight into mutuality by innovatively applying interdisciplinary positioning theory to the analysis of adolescents’ experiences of psychotherapy. Qualitative, post-treatment interviews with nine female adolescents receiving psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression in the Norwegian First Experimental Study of Transference Work – In Teenagers were conducted. Drawing on positioning theory, unique characteristics of mutuality with a focus on storylines and positions were identified within the patients’ descriptions of their therapy. Adolescents in psychodynamic psychotherapy experience multifarious forms of mutuality and partake in the co-creation of shifting positions. They also constantly evaluate and negotiate what to say and disclose in therapy. These negotiations offer both desired and unattractive positions, dependent on each individual adolescent’s norms and moral perceptions. From the study, it was found that adolescents pass through different forms of mutuality. These are discussed, illuminating how the power of positions and storylines may be used by therapists to promote therapeutic, mutual relationships.

[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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