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‘Hard work’ in a new context: clients’ experiences of psychotherapy
Örebro University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Örebro University.
Örebro University.
2013 (English)In: Qualitative Social Work, ISSN 1473-3250, E-ISSN 1741-3117, Vol. 12, no 3, 340-357 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to describe and gain an understanding of clients’ experiences of psychotherapy contracts and processes in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy (PDT). Fourteen participants were interviewed after ending their psychotherapy. To get information richness they were selected with as great a variation as possible in relation to their life context. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the descriptions and the significance of the descriptions. Similarities between the two therapy orientations emerged throughout the informants’ experiences. These similarities were expressed in the two themes: The creation of a new context and The working method and the cooperation with the psychotherapist made up a whole. The psychotherapy process was described as ‘hard work’ in a new context, markedly different from the ordinary social context. From the informants’ perspective, the creation of a new context offered a possibility to give full attention, together with the psychotherapist, to oneself and to the problems one was grappling with. A salient feature was the informant’s responsibility for agreements in the psychotherapy contract, especially in relation to the number of sessions and the creation of cooperation with the psychotherapist. Irrespective of therapy orientation the therapeutic techniques were described as inextricably linked to the cooperation with the psychotherapist. An implication for practice and research from these findings is to give more weight to the influence of cooperation in psychotherapy techniques, irrespective of therapy orientation. Another implication is an awareness that the client’s knowledge of her/his difficulties, needs and desire for change, capacity to make an effort and to assume  responsibility always have to be highlighted and have an impact on the psychotherapy contract and process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 12, no 3, 340-357 p.
Keyword [en]
cognitive behavioural therapy, patients’ experiences, psychodynamic psychotherapy, qualitative research
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-51513DOI: 10.1177/1473325011431649ISI: 000319563700007OAI: diva2:482638
Available from: 2012-01-24 Created: 2012-01-24 Last updated: 2013-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Wiberg, Britt
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