Theory Development via Single Cases: A Case Study of the Therapeutic Relationship in Psychodynamic Therapy
Keywords:clinical case studies, case studies, therapeutic relationship, psychodynamic therapy, methodological challenges of case studies, case study vs. statistical findings
The goals of this paper are (a) to demonstrate how study of the therapeutic alliance in single cases of psychodynamic therapy can exemplify and instantiate theoretical concepts and lead to the development or refinement of psychotherapy theory, research and practice, as illustrated in the case of Ron and in Hans Strupp's classic analyses of pairs of comparable successful and unsuccessful cases; (b) to point out methodological challenges of case studies as a source of reliable and valid data; and (c) to illustrate the greater influence of clinical case studies compared to research reviews of the psychotherapy literature on the practitioner.
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