The clinical technique in time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy with children, young people and parents

Setting up the conceptual frame for the therapeutic process

It will be clear from the previous chapters that focused time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy is dependent on the creation of a distinctive therapeutic frame. The essential components of the therapeutic frame are as follows:

  • • Being active in the therapeutic process;
  • • Creating a defined assessment process;
  • • Taking a therapeutic history;
  • • Creating a vocabulary for emotional understanding;
  • • The place of hypothesis, formulation and feedback;
  • • Using the dynamic nature of the ‘here and now’;
  • • Dissolving the boundaries between the consulting room and the wider network.

Starting out

Time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy involves the setting up of various parameters concerning time, as well as being clear about the aims and objectives of the therapy from the outset. This entails working towards a positive outcome and behavioural change that encompasses not only the child and young person, but also their parents. Time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy is therefore viewed as a transformative process. Time-limited psychotherapy is considered to be a legitimate treatment mode in its own right in the vast majority of cases, and is not viewed as the lesser option to longterm therapy, or as a holding device until a vacancy occurs for longer term therapy. The clarity of practitioners about these parameters, how these are conveyed to, and understood by, their respective patients, children, parents and young people, is a critical part of the therapeutic process.

 
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