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(p. 85) Foundational Techniques Part I 

(p. 85) Foundational Techniques Part I
(p. 85) Foundational Techniques Part I

Brian A. Sharpless

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date: 19 March 2019

There are a number of “basic” psychodynamic techniques that serve as a foundation for more specific interventions (e.g., interpretations). Therapist silence is one of these, and its usage varies greatly according to a patient’s relative location on the supportive–expressive continuum. After discussing the purpose and potential meanings of therapist silence, suggestions are made for effectively using this technique in session. Next, ways of fostering patient free association are noted. This can differ markedly according to duration of treatment (e.g., a short-term, manualized therapy vs. a more open-ended psychotherapy). The chapter ends with a discussion of how therapists can listen in a psychodynamic manner. First, Freud’s early concept of evenly-hovering attention is evaluated in the context of contemporary psychodynamic theory. Next, the 4 channels of communication available to psychodynamic therapists are discussed. These include what is said, what is not said, nonverbal behavior, and information gained from countertransference.

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