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Thomas, Z. (2017). Breaking through to the other Side: A Resident Explores the Benefits of Time-Limited Psychodynamic Therapy for Patients with Schizophrenia. Psychodyn. Psych., 45(1):59-77.

(2017). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 45(1):59-77

Breaking through to the other Side: A Resident Explores the Benefits of Time-Limited Psychodynamic Therapy for Patients with Schizophrenia

Zoë Thomas, M.D.

This article recounts the case of a patient with schizophrenia engaged in time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy with a psychiatry resident—the first case history of its type to the author's knowledge. This patient suffered from chronically debilitating schizophrenia with persistent positive and negative symptoms at the time of treatment, despite usual psychiatric management. He benefited significantly from 18 weekly sessions of weekly dynamic therapy, achieving symptom reduction, increased social involvement, and improved functioning—gains that were sustained at 9-month follow-up.

The author narrates the patient's therapeutic progress from a clinician-intraining's perspective, commenting on technical aspects of his treatment. The author examines how the time-limited nature of the therapy may have infused the transference and influenced the patient's outcome.

The author also reviews the evidence base for psychodynamic treatment of patients with schizophrenia, focusing on short-term therapy specifically. The author invites greater inquiry into time-limited therapeutic approaches with such patients.

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