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Psychotherapy (Chic). 2009 Sep;46(3):291-4. doi: 10.1037/a0016914.

Commentary on Dinger et al.: Therapist's attachment, interpersonal problems and alliance development over time in inpatient psychotherapy.

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Department of Psychology.


This short article is a commentary on a research study investigating therapist and client attachment styles and their relationship to alliance development in a 12-week psychodynamic psychotherapy program for nonpsychotic inpatients. The relationship is complex; unsurprisingly, securely attached therapists with less distressed clients formed the strongest alliances. A significant proportion of therapists were insecure, almost entirely in the preoccupied or hyperactivating mode. It is argued that collusive relationships between such therapists and similarly overaroused clients may be common. Therapists need both to accommodate to their client's attachment style and to confound it if positive change is to result. Therapist self-scrutiny is likely to be a precondition for such positive outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record


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