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(p. 102) Foundational Techniques Part II 

(p. 102) Foundational Techniques Part II
(p. 102) Foundational Techniques Part II

Brian A. Sharpless

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date: 21 May 2019

This second chapter on foundational techniques begins with a discussion of how psychodynamic therapists typically behave. These behaviors often differ markedly from normal social conventions but help maintain professional boundaries and a therapeutic focus on the patient. An example of this is therapist ambiguity, or limiting the patient’s general knowledge about the therapist’s personal history and beliefs (e.g., limiting reciprocal self-disclosure). Another example is psychodynamic abstinence, or not gratifying the patient’s unhealthy wishes or desires. Technical neutrality is also considered in the context of the patient’s level of personality organization but, in general, consists of taking a nonjudgmental stance. Finally, therapists model healthy and adaptive behaviors for their patients (e.g., thoughtfulness, honesty). The second section of this chapter focuses on how to begin a course of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Therapy contracts, the therapeutic alliance, and ways to socialize patients into treatment are all discussed.

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