Relationship representations and change in adolescents and emerging adults during psychodynamic psychotherapy

Dana Atzil–Slonim*, Hadas Wiseman, Orya Tishby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Two groups of clients at sequential developmental stages, adolescents and emerging adults, were compared regarding their presenting problems, psychological distress, and relationship representations over one year of psychotherapy. Method: Thirty adolescents aged 14–18 years and 30 emerging adults aged 22–28 years, with similar demographic background, completed outcome measures and interviews according to the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme (CCRT) method. Results: The groups differed significantly in the presenting problems but did not differ in their initial levels of distress; their symptoms improved to a similar extent after one year of psychotherapy; differences between the groups in the representations of others were consistent with age-specific developmental challenges; levels of representations were associated with levels of symptoms at the end-point of treatment. Conclusion: Clinicians need to be attuned to the specific difficulties and challenges of these continuous yet distinct developmental stages.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)279-296
Number of pages18
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society for Psychotherapy Research.


  • CCRT
  • adolescence
  • emerging adults
  • outcome
  • process
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy


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