Qualitative research in adolescent psychotherapy: attachment and reflective functioning as psychotherapy’s outcomes of an adolescent with anorexia nervosa

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Ester D'Onofrio
Cecilia Serena Pace *
Donatella Cavanna
(*) Corresponding Author:
Cecilia Serena Pace | cecilia.pace@unige.it

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine both the change in attachment state of mind and mentalization competencies as outcomes of a two-year weekly psychodynamic psychotherapy of a female adolescent with anorexia nervosa. The Attachment Interview for Childhood and Adolescence (AICA) was administered at pre and post-treatment, and coded both with the attachment coding system and the Reflective Functioning (RF) scale. At the pre-treatment, the anorexic adolescent was assessed as insecure dismissing with very low level of RF, while in the post-treatment a secure attachment model and higher RF were highlighted. The AICA can be considered a useful method to assess the outcomes in adolescent psychotherapy, like the AAI is useful in adult psychotherapy.

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Author Biographies

Ester D'Onofrio, Department of Clinical and Dynamic Psychology, La Sapienza, University of Rome, Rome

Department of Clinical and Dynamic Psychology

PhD

Cecilia Serena Pace, Department of Educational Science, University of Genova, Genoa

Department of Educational Science

Assistant Professor

Donatella Cavanna, Department of Educational Science, University of Genova, Genoa

Department of Educational Science

Full Professor