Young people's experiences of individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy

Raval, Hitesh, Lyon, Louise and Bury, Catherine (2010) Young people's experiences of individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 80 (1). pp. 79-96. ISSN 1476-0835

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Greater emphasis is currently being placed on user involvement in shaping the delivery of mental health services and the need for increasing the evidence base for psychotherapeutic interventions such as individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy (IPP). This qualitative study reports on the range of experiences of six young people aged between 16 and 21 years in undertaking IPP. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to develop an in-depth understanding of their experiences. The themes identified the young people's initial expectations and concerns about starting psychotherapy, experiences of learning the ropes of therapy and the process and meaning of ending therapy. The affective relationship with the therapist was of particular importance to the young people concerned. Positive experiences of IPP included being listened to and being accepted, and talking and thinking in depth. The power differentials with respect to being a patient were also evident. The paper concludes by suggesting that paying greater attention to young people's views of psychotherapy may improve their initial engagement and help to develop services in more appropriate ways. Qualitative methodologies provide a useful adjunct to conducting process and outcome research in this context.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article first published online: 24 Dec 2010. Originally published 2007
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Adolescents - Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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