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Clin Psychol Psychother. 2016 Sep;23(5):407-424. doi: 10.1002/cpp.1970.

Exploring Phase Progression Throughout the Therapeutic Process: The Case of Eva.

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Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.
Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.
Department of Psychology, Suffolk University, Boston, MA, USA.


This study intends to clarify how Eva [a good-outcome case] developed a more differentiated and integrated sense of herself and her experience, and how the therapist facilitated this developmental process. It aims to deepen our understanding of the processes of change throughout the therapeutic process by analysing a longitudinal case study integrating a phase-by-phase map-the sequential phases of the Paradigmatic Complementarity Metamodel [PCM]-with a moment-by-moment tracking method-the Developmental Analysis of Psychotherapy Process [DAPP] Method. A team of three researchers analysed the sessions from the first year of therapy, identified phase transitions and consolidations, and discussed what in the process appears to have fostered them. The results suggest that Eva evolved in accordance with the sequence of phases proposed by the PCM, which we illustrate and explain with therapeutic interactions representative of Eva's development within the evolving therapeutic process. This case study is one of a series intended to contribute to the optimization of clinical decision making by identifying markers of phase progression and assessing the usefulness of the therapeutic interventions offered. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Integrating moment-by-moment and phase-by-phase guiding maps facilitates the understanding of therapeutic processes. Therapists' attunement and responsiveness to patients' assimilation capacities supports therapeutic progress. Being aware of both phase-by-phase and moment-by-moment movements in psychotherapy helps lead to better clinical decisions.


Case Study; Process Research; Processes of Change; Tracking and Sequencing

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