Returning to psychotherapy with the same therapist: A self psychological perspective

Research paper by Naomi R. Malin

Indexed on: 01 Jun '90Published on: 01 Jun '90Published in: Clinical Social Work Journal


Terminations or interruptions of psychotherapy which have been followed by a patient's resuming therapy with the same therapist at a later time have often been viewed as premature with the implication that the initial therapy has been inadequate or deficient. This paper suggests, however, that a patient returns to the same therapist because the selfobject bond established in the initial treatment is still intact, and that the hiatus between treatments can be a time of further development and strengthening of self structure. Two clinical cases are described which illustrate these ideas.