Project "Linguistic Manifestations of Resistance in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy"

Project leaders: Prof. Dr. Arnulf Deppermann, Prof. Dr. Thomas Spranz-Fogasy

Team: Prof. Dr. Arnulf Deppermann, Prof. Dr. Thomas Spranz-Fogasy, Carolina Fenner

Project context: Resistance is a central concept in psychodynamic psychotherapy. While the patient wants to engage in psychotherapy, opposing forces try to maintain the present – mostly dysfunctional – status. Psychodynamically, resistance is an important indicator for hidden experiences of the patient, which have to be worked on therapeutically. In this DFG-funded collaborative project with Heidelberg University Hospital, manifestations of resistance in psychodynamic psychotherapy as well as subsequent therapeutic interventions will be investigated. The aim of the project is to develop a linguistically based typology of resistance phenomena and forms of therapeutic resistance management as well as to investigate changes in these phenomena over time. Insights gained can be used for the better understanding of psychotherapeutic processes and psychotherapeutic training. Methodology: The underlying data are video recordings of real outpatient psychotherapeutic treatments at the Heidelberg Institute for Psychotherapy (HIP). In an interdisciplinary approach, qualitative linguistic (conversation analysis) and quantitative psychological methods (descriptive statistics, qualitative content analysis) are combined.

The interdisciplinary project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Link to the project page of Heidelberg University Hospital