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The Role of Therapist Activity in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

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Jeff Katzman, M.D.; Patricia Coughlin, Ph.D.
Psychodynamic Psychiatry: Vol. 41, Psychodynamic Psychiatry in Residency Education, pp. 75-89.


The teaching of psychodynamic psychotherapy is a critical component of psychiatric residency training programs. The authors argue that encouraging our residents to become active while providing psychodynamic psychotherapy is a skill that can be taught. By helping residents to understand how to actively help patients focus on their internal world, identify and work with the defenses, and develop and maintain a treatment alliance, psychodynamic educators can enable psychiatric residents to feel far more competent when working in this paradigm. Such a stance inevitably leads to greater excitement and enjoyment for trainees, as well as better outcomes for patients.

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