Editor's Introduction: The Psychotherapy Case of "Sharon" -- A Comparative Analysis Using Contrasting Interpersonal Theories
Keywords:Interpersonal Defense Theory, Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy (IRT), case formulation, treatment planning, comparing therapy approaches, case studies as theory enrichment, case study, clinical case study
This article is a brief orientation to the current PCSP issue, which presents and compares two contrasting, interpersonal theories—Interpersonal Defense Theory and Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy—for developing a case formulation and treatment plan for the case of "Sharon," a 28-year, unmarried social worker with no children. At the beginning of Sharon’s therapy, which was part of a randomized clinical trial (RCT), Sharon presented with comorbid anxiety and personality disorders. A major focus of her problems was being stuck between being simultaneously drawn to and repelled by "Jeff," her former finance. In reading this article series, a number of important themes to keep in mind are mentioned, including (a) comparing theoretical similarities and differences between the two theories; (b) the differences in the information selected by each theory from the large database of quantitative and qualitative clinical information in the database generated by the RCT; and (c) the enrichment of theory that occurs when it is applied to an individual case.
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