A developmental perspective on adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy. An Italian study with the Adolescent Psychotherapy Q-Set

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Mauro Di Lorenzo *
Alfio Maggiolini
Virginia Anna Suigo
(*) Corresponding Author:
Mauro Di Lorenzo | dilorenzo.mauro1@gmail.com

Abstract

Introduction: despite large and widely accepted research on effectiveness, most of psychotherapy research has been done with adults; few studies have been published on the process of adolescent psychotherapy, due to the complexity of the subject and the absence of instruments sensitive enough to empirically capture its nuances. Within psychoanalytic framework, a developmental approach is particu-larly helpful in the psychotherapy of adolescents. Objective: the purpose of this study was to investigate the typical features of Italian Adolescence Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and its similarities and differences with other adolescence psycho-therapeutic approaches; We also aimed at analyzing typical therapists’ responses to adolescent patients. Method: 50 italian adolescence psychotherapists filled a brief questionnaire about their clinical expertise, completed the Adolescent Psychothe-rapy Q – Set (APQ) and the Therapist Response Questionnaire (TRQ) in order to describe their “actual†practice with adolescents. Results: therapeutic process is characterized by a priority to helping adolescent make sense of his own experience, it focuses on present relationships and emotions rather than on past. Strong similar-ities with Mentalization Based Therapy, mild and no correlations with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Classical Psychoanalysis respectively were found; towards adolescents therapists generaly display positive and protective countertransference responses. They less frequenlty show negative responses as overprotection, hostility or feeling of overwhelming. Conclusions: APQ and TRQ can provide meaningfull information about adolescent psychotherapy process. Instruments’ improvement (i.e. reviewd items for APQ) and future perspectives are also discussed.

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Author Biographies

Mauro Di Lorenzo, Minotauro IACA, Milan; Department of Psychology, University of Milano Bicocca, Milan

Minotauro IACA - Psychotherapist

Alfio Maggiolini, Minotauro IACA, Milan; Department of Psychology, University of Milano Bicocca, Milan

Faculty of Psychology - Professor of "Life-Cycle Psychology"

Minotauro IACA - Psychotherapist

Virginia Anna Suigo, Minotauro IACA, Milan

Minotauro IACA - Psychotherapist.