Do therapists practicing psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy and short-term dynamic therapy address patient defences differently?
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McGill University
University of Lausanne
Submission date: 2016-12-22
Acceptance date: 2017-03-19
Publication date: 2017-06-28
Corresponding author
Martin Drapeau   

McGill University, ECP - McGill University, 3700 McTavish, H3A 1Y2 Montreal, Canada
Arch Psych Psych 2017;19(2):7-14
Defense mechanisms are a central component of psychodynamic theory and the interpretation of defenses is key to psychodynamic practice. Over the years, varying perspectives on dealing with a patient’s defense mechanisms have been outlined . Aim of the study: to examine how psychodynamic therapists deal with patient defenses in practice. Methods: This study asked psychodynamic therapists (N=114) of different theoretical models (e.g., psychoanalysis, short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, and psychodynamic therapy) to complete an online survey. Results: Respondents (N = 114) indicated that defense mechanisms are a very important component of practice for psychodynamic psychotherapy. Significant differences between short-term psychodynamic therapy (STDP) and psychodynamic therapists on how they address defenses in their clinical practice were found. Discussion and Conclusion: Clinical implications of these results, and directions for future research are discussed.
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