chapter  4
32 Pages

Assessing Patient Capacities for Therapy: Psychological- Mindedness and Quality of Object Relations

In this chapter, we provide an overview of two patient characteristics and their assessment. The characteristics are representative of important capacities for engaging successfully in short-term dynamic psychotherapy (STDP). Psychological mindedness (PM) is a personality trait associated with the patient’s capacity to make productive use of the “language” of therapy, that is, to understand and apply the therapist’s interventions to the process of resolving personal problems. Quality of object relations (QOR) represents a more global personality style associated with the capacity to establish and maintain relationships based on mutuality and autonomy, that is, to establish and maintain a collaborative relationship with the therapist that can allow for the therapy process to occur. The variables derived from PM and QOR assessments have demonstrated empirical relations with measures of the process and outcome of STDP. The assessment procedures also have utility regarding the selection of patients and the prediction of therapy process developments over the course of STDP treatment. The two measures, PM and QOR, are presented in turn. In each section, a representative case is used to demonstrate the features of each assessment and their implications for the treatment process.