A Mixed Methods Framework for Psychoanalytic Group Therapy: From Qualitative Records to a Quantitative Approach Using T-Pattern, Lag Sequential, and Polar Coordinate Analyses

Eulàlia Arias-Pujol, M. Teresa Anguera

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Conducted within a mixed methods framework, this study focuses on the conversation-facilitation role of a lead therapist during group psychotherapy with adolescents. Conversation is an essential component of psychoanalytic psychotherapies and there is growing interest in describing and studying the impact of conversational techniques. One way to do this is to report on specific approaches, such as questioning, paraphrasing, and mentalization in intervention turns and to analyze their impact on the therapist-patient relationship. The main aim of this study was to investigate differences in communication strategies used by a lead therapist in the early and late stages of therapy with six adolescents aged 13–15 years. We employed a mixed methods design based on systematic direct observation supplemented by indirect observation. The observational methodology design was nomothetic, follow-up, and multidimensional. The choice of methodology is justified by our use of an ad hoc observation instrument for communication strategies combining a field format and a category system. We analyzed interobserver agreement quantitatively by Cohen’s kappa using GSEQ5 software. Following confirmation of the reliability of the data, we analyzed the lead therapist’s conversation-facilitation techniques in sessions 5 and 29 of a 30-session program by quantitatively analyzing what were initially qualitative data using T-pattern detection (THEME v.6 Edu software), lag sequential analysis (GSEQ5 software), and polar coordinate analysis (HOISAN v. 1.6.3.3.6. software and R software). The results show changes in the techniques used from the start to the end of therapy. Of the 28 communication strategies analyzed, three were particularly common: questioning and paraphrasing in session 5 and questioning and mentalization in session 29. This mixed methods study shows that combined use of T-pattern detection, lag sequential analysis, and polar coordinate analysis can offer meaningful and objective insights into group psychotherapy through the lens of the therapist.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article1922
RevistaFrontiers in Psychology
Volum11
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 11 d’ag. 2020

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