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Martinez, L.V. Hersh, R.G. (2021). A Novel Approach to Supervision of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP): Examining the First Three Minutes of the TFP Session. Psychodyn. Psych., 49(1):110-130.

(2021). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 49(1):110-130

A Novel Approach to Supervision of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP): Examining the First Three Minutes of the TFP Session

Luis Valenciano Martinez, M.D. and Richard G. Hersh, M.D.

Transference focused psychotherapy (TFP), an empirically validated, manualized treatment for patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), is arguably the most challenging to learn of the evidence-based treatments for BPD. Following an introduction to the TFP manual and the treatment's central tenets, ongoing individual, group, or peer supervision of case material, ideally with recorded video sessions, would be expected when the clinician's goal is fidelity to the prescribed approach. Our proposal for a novel supervision intervention emerges directly from the basic theoretical foundations of TFP, the process of research investigation, which has evolved over the years, with its goal of assessing both measurable patient outcomes and research clinician adherence to the model, and collective clinical experience. A deliberate assessment of the initial minutes of TFP as a supervision or self-assessment method is not meant as a substitute for more comprehensive supervision, nor is it offered as an exclusive path to mastering TFP. This approach to TFP supervision aims to distill and focus in a common-sense, accessible way the process of practicing TFP, thereby facilitating therapist consistency. Our proposed, more limited and concise tactic for TFP training can be used as an instruction building block, incrementally extending the access for practicing and mastering this intervention to a broader group of motivated providers.

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