Process research in psychodynamic psychotherapy: Interventions and the therapeutic relationship

Kevin S. McCarthy, Sigal Zilcha-Mano, Jacques P. Barber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Investigations of the process of psychodynamic psychotherapy (PDT) abound, but it seems that the more that is uncovered about what happens in PDT, the more there is to explain. This chapter reviews some of the sophisticated and novel studies that have emerged about interventions in PDT, the therapeutic relationship, and their relations with other phenomena in PDT and its outcomes. The use of supportive, expressive, and other techniques are chronicled, and the temporal and contextual factors that facilitate the helpfulness of these interventions are explored. The therapeutic relationship is examined beyond consideration of its robust association with symptom improvement, delving into the development and management of the alliance over time and new ways of thinking about the alliance as a curative factor in PDT. Ultimately, the complexity of the process of PDT is underscored, and more research is encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Subtitle of host publicationEvolving Clinical Practice
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780128134009
ISBN (Print)9780128133736
StatePublished - 18 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Alliance
  • Interventions
  • Process
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Therapeutic relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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