The Role of Interpretation in Fostering the Psychotherapy Process: Evidence from a Single Case Study

Alessandro Gennaro, Diego Rocco, Attà Negri, Andrea Auletta, Tiziana Marinaci, Gaia Dell'Arciprete, Skaiste Gabriele Kerusauskaite, Sergio Salvatore


The role of interpretation as a core intervention promoting good outcomes in psychotherapy is well acknowledged and established. Nevertheless, evidence of the role of interpretative interventions in promoting patients’ change dynamic is still lacking. The present work, a good outcome psychotherapy single case study, focuses on how different interpretative modalities support different patients’ intrapsychic dynamics implied in changing affective experience interpretation and clinical success. The grid of the models of interpretation (GMI) and the Discourse Attributes Analysis Program (DAAP) were applied to all therapy transcripts (N = 76 sessions) in order to detect, respectively, the interpretative models enacted by the therapist and patients’ intrapsychic processes subtending affects elaboration. Two different regression models tested the role of interpretative interventions in promoting specific processes supporting patients’ affective elaboration. A further regression model then highlighted a specific configuration in the clinical course in processes promoting affect elaboration. Results are discussed, offering cues for a clearer understanding of the role of the therapist’s interpretative interventions in promoting the clinical dynamics, thereby paving the way for the change process.


Psychotherapy; Change process; Interpretation; Referential process; Affects; GMI; Clinical techniques.

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