Integrated Approach to Short-Term Dynamic Interpersonal Psychotherapy
Short-term dynamic interpersonal psychotherapy is an integrated, trauma-informed, contemporary, dynamic way of working with a range of mental health difficulties. Flexible though structured, phase-oriented, focused and time-limited, it is informed by the Conversational Model, Attachment and Interpersonal Theories and Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapies, which are briefly described. It provides clinicians with a way of working with patients whose difficulties do not warrant long term therapy, who prefer a talking therapy or who have failed cognitive/behaviour therapies. With the help of examples, it guides the process of assessment and therapy with trauma in mind: using Conversational Model techniques where empathy replaces confrontation; resistance is seen as a fear of re-traumatization; defence mechanisms are regarded as adaptive coping mechanisms which later become maladaptive; transference interventions replace interpretations, and self-reflective capacity is encouraged rather than just insight. Separation anxiety is addressed and anxiety-provoking techniques are avoided, given that anxiety is a large part of most presentations. The book also covers the use of short-term dynamic interpersonal psychotherapy in issues of grief and bereavement; difficulties arising from life-changing medical diagnosis; relational and functional difficulties resulting from chronic major mental illness; and emergency psychiatry where patients present with disturbances which require prompt, empathic connection and assessment in order to maintain continuity of care.