Constructing Interpretations and Assessing Their Accuracy
Modern theories of dynamic psychotherapy focus on the interpretation of maladaptive relationship patterns as the primary technique designed to increase self-understanding and relieve psychiatric symptoms. Therapists in training in dynamic psychotherapy are faced with the task of learning to formulate and deliver accurate interpretations. The primary goal of this chapter is to review the research literature on constructing interpretations, with particular attention to studies that evaluate the relation between interpretations and psychotherapy outcome, to enhance the ability of clinicians to develop interpretation skills informed by research. We first consider the definitions of interpretation and review the role of interpretations in the process of change as described in theories of dynamic psychotherapy.