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CHAPTER TWO: Setting the parameters

Penny Rawson Karnac Books ePub

Terminology and definitions

Before I move onto the expansion of my chosen methodology for the study, it seems appropriate to clarify some of the terminology with definitions. This is as important for the knowledgeable practitioner as it is for the lay person. The field of psychotherapy is not an exact science where there are clear definitions agreed as a basis for development of argument.

I am therefore declaring the definitions, which will set the parameters for my arguments. Firstly, I am making no distinction here between the terms “psychotherapy” and “counselling”. I therefore use the words counselling/therapy/psychotherapy interchangeably. In terms of counselling, I refer to psychodynamic counselling that is, according to Feltham and Dryden, a method of counselling that draws on the psychoanalytic tradition and expects to employ “concepts of the unconscious” such as “resistance and transference” and uses techniques such as “free association” dreams and “interpretation” (1993, p. 147).

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CHAPTER FIVE: Part One:Analysis of the emergent key themes: findings from the in-depth cycle of analysis

Penny Rawson Karnac Books ePub

The last chapter showed the findings from the cycles of analysis leading to the selection of key themes. In the first part of this chapter the findings from the in-depth cycle of analysis are reported. Each of the key themes listed below is examined in turn to elaborate clearly what is understood by each of these from the case work, key proponents and literature. Although some inchoate conclusions emerge spontaneously these are in no way comprehensive since that is not the purpose of this section.

Although in the early cycles of analysis, the casework was examined before turning to the literature, in this section I have chosen to outline the work of the key proponents and the findings from the literature first. This is to emphasize that the clinical team’s empirical work stands on and within a tradition and at times moves on and beyond the confines of that same tradition in keeping with a dynamic process.

The second part of this chapter gives a summary of the findings from the analysis of key themes and preliminary conclusions which will be examined further in later chapters.

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CHAPTER SIX: Flexibility

Penny Rawson Karnac Books ePub

It is important that the therapist can be flexible. This applies to techniques, to the time scale and to the possibility of renegotiating the contract in respect of both focus and time as necessary.

Pinpoint the issues

In holding the focus and working with the client we need to pinpoint the issues, help the client to discharge the emotions that reside with these, and help them to change the situation in the present. The reason for this is so that they can move forward somewhat more freely.

With one client there may be no need to do anything other than ask, ‘What brought you to the counselling?’ for it all to pour out clearly and lucidly. Another client may be barely able to get out a few disjointed thoughts as to their emotional state and the therapist needs to be able to help them, applying appropriate skills flexibly.


The flexibility of the therapist is called into play in finding and holding the focus. One of the ways to do this is that of education. This is an area that is sometimes overlooked. I believe that we need to help clients to be aware of psychological processes, to teach them how to become their own therapists. For example, so many people are utterly ignorant as to the many effects that grief can have on them. Very often, once they are aware of this they no longer require therapy. I have so often heard clients say, ‘Oh, I thought I was going mad. Now I understand what is happening, I think I can cope.’

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CHAPTER THREE: Theoretical framework and methodology

Penny Rawson Karnac Books ePub

If my conclusions in this book are to carry real weight in the therapeutic community then they must be seen to evolve from a rigorous study that can withstand academic scrutiny. This chapter therefore is primarily aimed at those who wish to reassure themselves in this way. It outlines the methodology and theoretical framework used to direct the analysis of the literature and selected case studies. It sets the scene for the cycles of analysis that follow and which systematically build up a picture of what makes short term therapy short. I hope that the reader who prefers to get straight to the discoveries will feel free to move swiftly to the next chapter, but for those who want to know how I came to these particular cycles of analysis I continue here.

In this study I seek to derive and analyse the key principles in short-term psychodynamic therapy as it emerges from the selected case work and the literature. To achieve this, a pluralistic approach, within a qualitative framework, has been adopted.

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CHAPTER TEN: Review and what next?

Penny Rawson Karnac Books ePub

What has been covered?

In these pages I have encompassed the material that would normally be presented in a three-day course to give practising therapists a working idea of the basics of brief psychodynamic psychotherapy. I have briefly covered all the points in the following summary, which is repeated in the quick reference notes at the end of the concluding chapter for the reader’s convenience as a final summary.

Brief psychodynamic psychotherapy

Experience required of the therapist Motivation on the part of the client

—  Understanding of psychodynamic principles.

—  Importance of the first session.

—  Therapy as short as client need allows.

—  Early establishment of the therapeutic alliance.

—  Therapist attitude.

—  Teaching.

—  Enabling clients to become their own therapists.

—  Activity.

—  Focus.

—  Flexibility and fusion.

—  Incisiveness.

12.  The sensitivity of the therapist in order to be in tune with the client.

Hope » Involvement » Intensity » Magic

—  Client is capable of being own therapist

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