March 1984

Prediction of Outcome of Brief Psychotherapy From Therapist Interpretive Interventions

Author Affiliations

From the Psychotherapy Research Section, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(3):301-304. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790140091011

• This study replicated Malan's 1976 analysis of psychodynamic interpretations and corrected the major methodological fault in his work: the use of therapist notes for rating the interpretive elements. In this study, the sessions of 25 patients treated in brief dynamic psychotherapy were audiotaped and the ratings of the interpretive interventions were made directly from the audiotapes. Malan's findings were supported. There was a positive association between more favorable outcome, measured on five psychodynamic scales, and the frequency with which therapist interpretations referred to emotions experienced in the transference relationship that were similar to those experienced in relationships with parents and other important persons. The results of this replication indicate that these therapist-offered explanations about the meanings of significant current and past interpersonal relationships contribute to the outcome of brief psychotherapy.