Psychodynamic change in psychotherapy: cycles of patient-therapist linguistic interactions and interventions
Psychodynamic change is understood to occur in part through the unique therapeutic relationship developed between therapist and patient, and the subtle cycles of their conversation from relaxed connection to intense experiencing. The Therapeutic Cycles Model (TCM) (Mergenthaler, 1996) and Heidelberg Structural Change Scale (HSCS) (OPD Task Force, 2008) were used to investigate therapist-patient dynamic processes across 16 sessions of psychotherapy. The TCM identified interventions of the therapist instigating change in emotion-abstraction patterns. Structural personality change was higher in TCM cycles, and differed according to emotion-abstraction patterns. The interventions of the therapist promoted dynamic structural change in the patient. The findings demonstrate for the first time the interconnection between specific types of therapist and patient dialogue that promote deep changes.