Assessing personality change with Blatt's anaclitic and introjective configurations and Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure profiles: two case studies in psychodynamic treatment

Submitted: July 5, 2016
Accepted: March 10, 2017
Published: April 19, 2017
Abstract Views: 1928
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A growing body of empirical and clinical research attests to the influence of personality features on the development, course and outcome of psychotherapy. Over the last four decades, Blatt adopted a psychoanalytic and cognitive developmental approach in developing a theoretically and empirically grounded two-configurations model of personality. The main aim of this study was to evaluate possible changes in anaclitic and introjective configurations – as measured by the Depressive Experience Questionnaire (DEQ) (Blatt, D’Afflitti, & Quinlan, 1976) – set against simultaneous changes in personality profile measured by Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP-200). Two young patients, a man and a woman, characterized by different personality profiles – introjective and anaclitic, respectively – were assessed for one year in the context of a psychodynamic psychotherapy. A battery of instruments – Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders I and II, Defense Mechanism Rating Scale, DEQ and SWAP-200 – were administered at the beginning, during the assessment process, and after one year. Both patients displayed lower BDI-II scores, along with evident clinical progress. Defence profiles and Core Conflict Relationship Themes showed interesting developments, in keeping with the evolution of the psychotherapy process. Lastly, while DEQ profiles outlined substantial stability after one year, some important changes in SWAP-200 profiles – in particular with regard to Q factors – were observed. Although these findings should be considered as preliminary, these results appear to be consistent with the description of Self-criticism and Dependency as relatively stable personality dimensions. The potential influence of profile diversity – introjective vs anaclitic – on other key variables of the psychotherapy process is also discussed.

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Oasi, O., Buonarrivo, L., Codazzi, A., Passalacqua, M., Risso Ricci, G. M., Straccamore, F., & Bezzi, R. (2017). Assessing personality change with Blatt’s anaclitic and introjective configurations and Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure profiles: two case studies in psychodynamic treatment. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2017.231

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