Internal Representations of the Therapeutic Relationship Among Adolescents in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Dana Atzil-Slonim*, Orya Tishby, Gaby Shefler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study examined changes in adolescents' internal representations of their relationship with their therapist and the extent to which these changes were related to changes in their representations of their relationship with their parents and to treatment outcomes. Method: Thirty adolescents (aged 15-18years, 70% women) undergoing psychodynamic psychotherapy participated in relationship anecdote paradigms interviews based on the core conflictual relationship theme method and completed outcome measures at the beginning of treatment and a year later. Results: Adolescents' positive representations of their therapists increased throughout the year of treatment, whereas their negative representations did not change. There was an association between the development of the therapeutic relationship and improvement in the perception of the relationship with parents over the course of therapy. Increases in the level of positive representations and decreases in the level of negative representations of the therapist were associated with greater satisfaction with treatment but not with the other outcome measures. These results support the centrality of the therapeutic relationship in the process of change during adolescents' psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)502-512
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Adolescents
  • CCRT
  • Outcome
  • Process
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Therapeutic Relationships


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