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Busch, F.N. Auchincloss, E.L. (2018). The Role of Psychoeducation in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Psychodyn. Psych., 46(1):145-163.

(2018). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 46(1):145-163

The Role of Psychoeducation in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Fredric N. Busch, M.D. and Elizabeth L. Auchincloss, M.D.

Psychoanalysts have generally avoided discussion of psychoeducational interventions in the context of psychodynamic psychotherapy, despite education being a component of many psychoanalytic techniques. This wariness stems from Freud's early concerns about interventions that could be deemed “suggestion,” and a misunderstanding of various aspects of neutrality, including viewing psychoeducational comments as over-gratifying or siding with the ego. Although potential pitfalls exist, the authors review clinical evidence and research that indicate the value of psychoeducational approaches for engaging patients in psychodynamic psychotherapy, considering alternative treatments, providing a psychodynamic formulation, and enhancing the therapeutic alliance. In this context there has been increasing inclusion of psychoeducational interventions in clinical descriptions and manuals of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Various aspects of psychoeducation are described, including education about the patient's problems, how the treatment works, how the mind works, relevant information from other areas of psychology and neuroscience, and how the world works. A case example is provided that further demonstrates the value of psychoeducation in the clinical setting.

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