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Psychotherapy (Chic). 2013 Sep;50(3):408-12. doi: 10.1037/a0032414.

Three mechanisms of change in psychodynamic therapy: insight, affect, and alliance.

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  • 1Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


Excerpts of therapist-patient dialogue are presented to demonstrate three important elements of a successful session of psychodynamic therapy. These are the provision of insight through the use of transference, a focus on patient affect, and the therapist's attention to aspects of the therapeutic alliance. The article, in addition to explicating the clinical process in psychodynamic therapy, gives a theoretical explanation for the emphasis on each of these three elements and provides research support for their application.

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