The experience of "being held in the mind of another" is a powerful metaphor for any relationship and is particularly pertinent to the therapist-patient bond. This study explores the frequency of therapists' thoughts and feelings about their patients between sessions (intersession experiences) and the relation of these to therapists' professional and demographic characteristics, difficulties experienced and coping strategies used in practice, and personal quality of life. Therapists (N=1,040) from the United States, Canada, and New Zealand completed the Therapist Intersession Experience Scale included in a survey with the Development of Psychotherapists Common Core Questionnaire (Orlinsky & Rønnestad, 2005). Controlling for nationality, analyses showed that frequency of intersession experiences was associated most strongly with therapists' general level of difficulties in practice (10.3% of variance), use of constructive coping strategies (3.4%), and a few professional characteristics (3.9% combined). Implications of these findings for clinical theory and practice are discussed.
- Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic therapy
- Psychotherapist training/supervision/development
- Therapist difficulties
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology