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Barsness, R.E. (2021). Therapeutic Practices in Relational Psychoanalysis: A Qualitative Study. Psychoanal. Psychol., 38(1):22-30.

(2021). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 38(1):22-30

Therapeutic Practices in Relational Psychoanalysis: A Qualitative Study

Roy E. Barsness, Ph.D.

As contemporary relational psychoanalytic theory has reworked historical models through a perspectival, postconstructionist lens, new techniques and clinical skills are required. Because there are no single studies specific to the practices of relational psychoanalysis, the purpose of this qualitative study is to determine what a relational psychoanalyst actually does. To achieve this purpose 16 interviews of relational psychoanalysts was conducted in an effort to (a) systematize and identify commonalities in relational psychoanalytic practices, (b) provide a set of fundamentals useful for practice, and (c) provide a scaffolding for clinical practices as defensible as the ever-dominating, more clearly stated, evidence-based practices. The research procedure was conducted through direct interview, coding the collected data and systematizing the data into representative categories using the grounded theory analysis method. Participants in this study were limited to those who self-identified as relational psychoanalysts, had completed psychoanalytic training at an analytic institute, had published in psychoanalytic journals, written books and/or presented at professional conferences, and had more than 20 years of experience. While maintaining an intersubjective hermeneutic, privileging difference and allowing for analyst variance, this study resulted in 7 core categories common to the practice of a relational psychoanalysis. Those 7 categories are: therapeutic intent; therapeutic stance; deep listening; attending to the there and then/here and now; patterning/linking; repetition/working through; and courageous speech/disciplined spontaneity.

[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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