Objective: We describe client–therapist relational narratives collected in relationship anecdotes paradigm (RAP) interviews during psychotherapy and the application of the core conflictual relationship theme (CCRT) method. Changes in clients’ and therapists’ CCRT in relation to each other are examined and associations between their CCRTs and self-reported ruptures and repairs are explored. Method: Sixty-seven clients and 27 therapists underwent RAP interviews and completed self-report rupture and repair items at early, middle, and late psychodynamic psychotherapy. Client–therapist relationship narratives were rated on the CCRT and the relational interplay within dyads was explored qualitatively. Results: CCRT changes from early to late therapy showed that with time clients perceived the therapist (RO) and the self (RS) more positively, and the therapist perceived the self (RS) less negatively. Some associations were found between tension in the session and clients’ and therapists’ negative RO and RS. Therapists’ reports of alliance repairs were associated with positive RO and RS. Conclusions: Relational narratives that clients and therapists tell in RAP interviews about meaningful interactions between them, enhance our understanding of clients’ and therapists’ inner experiences during interpersonal dances in the therapeutic relationship. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed, and implications for training are suggested.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society for Psychotherapy Research.
- process research
- psychodynamic psychotherapy
- relationship narratives