Latest NewsPsychotherapyTreatment

Affect, relationship schemas, and social cognition: Self-injuring borderline personality disorder inpatients.

Psychiatric patients who engage in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) present specific challenges to therapists because they often lack the capacities necessary to understand the social and emotional triggers for their actions. This case-control study empirically explores psychodynamic concepts of NSSI by examining quality of affect, object representations, and social cognition manifest in verbatim Thematic Apperception Test narratives (Murray, 1943). Sixty-five female borderline inpatients engaging in NSSI served as the case group, while 68 matched female inpatients with BPD without NSSI served as the control group. The TAT transcripts were rated on the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale (Hilsenroth, Stein, & Pinsker, 2007; Westen, 1995), then a priori hypotheses were subjected to st…

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Latest NewsPsychotherapyTreatment

Mistakes.

Psychoanalysts frequently make mistakes, but these errors often go unacknowledged because of the analyst’s sense of shame. This is regrettable because mistakes are widely recognized to contain new and very useful clinical information. In three clinical vignettes the author describes the kinds of clinical errors he has made: errors associated with a defensively false analytic self, mistakes based on his narcissistic investment in the patient, and errors made in transference/countertransference enactments. These clinical vignettes demonstrate a method of repairing mistakes that involves disclosure, the selective communication of countertransference, and apology. A visual metaphor is used to describe the process of mistake and reparation: The analyst’s “mis-take” is a failure to “see”…

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