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(p. 184) Cyclical Psychodynamics and Integrative Relational Psychotherapy 

(p. 184) Cyclical Psychodynamics and Integrative Relational Psychotherapy
(p. 184) Cyclical Psychodynamics and Integrative Relational Psychotherapy

Paul L. Wachtel

, and Gregory J. Gagnon

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date: 28 October 2020

This chapter covers an integrative psychotherapy known as cyclical psychodynamics and features its origins, applicability, assessment, treatment, therapy relationship, case example, outcome research, and future directions. Cyclical psychodynamics is an approach to theory and therapy that centers on the repetitive interaction cycles that maintain adaptive and maladaptive patterns of living. Employing concepts and methods from psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, systemic, and humanistic-experiential perspectives, the aim is to interrupt these cycles to enable the person not only to be relieved of distressing symptoms but to live more fully and richly. A key focus is on how the person unwittingly recruits “accomplices” in the maintenance of the pattern through the behaviors his actions evoke in others. Also central is attention to the ways that early attachment experiences lead some of our thoughts, wishes, and feelings to be cast into the background, rendered difficult to access consciously or to draw upon adaptively in one’s life. The therapy proceeds integratively, attending both to the expansion of subjective experience and to more adaptive daily behavior, as well as to how each promotes the other.

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