Publication details

Therapists’ in-session experiences with depressive clients: A grounded theory.

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Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Psychotherapy Research
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Psychology
Keywords depression; therapists’ experience; therapeutic relationship; countertransference; grounded theory method
Description Objective: This study explores the experiential process of psychotherapists during a session with a currently depressive client. Method: Individual and focus group interviews were conducted with 30 therapists and the grounded theory method was used as a methodological framework. Results: The therapists’ experience was conceptualized as Experiential oscillation between getting closer to a client’s depressive experience and moving away from it. Its development over the course of a session is depicted by a six-phase Depression Co-experiencing Trajectory model. Conclusions: The resultant theory interconnects different therapists’ emotional responses to a depressive client within a coherent process model, which allows us to track the changes in therapists’ experiences, to name the relations between them and to connect them with the therapy’s in-session micro-processes.
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