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Gullestad, S.E. (2003). The Adult Attachment Interview and psychoanalytic outcome studies. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 84(3):651-668.

(2003). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 84(3):651-668

The Adult Attachment Interview and psychoanalytic outcome studies

Siri Erika Gullestad

During the last two decades, the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) has attracted growing interest from psychoanalysts concerned with empirical research. The paper discusses the application of Crittenden's Dynamic-Maturational AAI method for assessing the outcome of psychoanalysis. The aim is to demonstrate, through a case presentation, how therapeutic change can be expressed in the AAI. The pre- and post-treatment interviews of one patient, having completed a four-times-a-week psychoanalysis, are presented. It is demonstrated that the detailed discourse analysis of the AAI, based on transcribed tape-recorded interviews, focuses subtle formal elements of language and speech reflecting dominant patterns of affect regulation and object relating. The AAI text analysis provides possibility for coding procedural memory as conveyed by the handling of the relationship to the interviewer, incorporating the dynamic relationship between researcher and subject and thus complying with a methodological prerequisite regarded by many psychoanalysts as necessary for capturing data that are relevant to psychoanalysis. On this background, the method emerges as promising for psychoanalytic outcome studies.

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