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1.  Construct Validity of a Measure of Affective Communication in Psychotherapy 
The present study evaluates the psychometric properties of a therapist measure for evaluating the affective communication created between the patient and therapist during the initial stages of treatment. The Affective Communication Questionnaire (ACQ) was administered to a sample of 81 therapists, each rating a single patient, and principal component analysis indicated the measure has coherent dimensions with strong internal consistency. The construct validity of the ACQ was then established in a sample of 16 therapists rating 73 patients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The measure was found to have a strong relationship to the related constructs of transference, countertransference, and affect experience in predicted directions. The measure also was found to have a modest relationship to independent assessments of patient functioning; most notably more negative affect was significantly related to more odd/eccentric (cluster A) and less anxious/fearful (cluster C) personality disorder symptoms, and greater narrative coherence. Differences in affective communication as a function of treatment type were also evaluated. The clinical and research implications of the findings are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3404462  PMID: 22844181
Affect; Transference; Countertransference; Psychotherapy; Personality Disorder
2.  THE MOTHERS AND TODDLERS PROGRAM: Preliminary Findings From an Attachment-Based Parenting Intervention for Substance-Abusing Mothers 
The authors examined pilot data from an attachment-based parenting intervention for substance-abusing mothers of toddlers (ages 12–36 months). The Mothers and Toddlers Program (MTP) is a 20-week individual therapy intervention that aims to help mothers develop more balanced representations of their children and improve their capacity for reflective functioning (i.e., recognition of the intentional nature of children’s behavior). The authors hypothesized that improvement in maternal representational balance and maternal capacity for reflective functioning would correspond with improvements in maternal behavior with toddlers (e.g., sensitivity to cues, responsiveness to distress, and social–emotional growth fostering) and reduction in maternal psychiatric distress and substance abuse. Eight mothers who completed MTP showed moderate improvements in representational balance and reflective functioning, and these changes corresponded with significant improvements in maternal behaviors with toddlers. The authors also compared MTP completers and noncompleters on sociodemographic and psychosocial indexes and examined the validity of the intervention’s proposed mechanisms of change. Preliminary findings support the importance of attachment mechanisms and indicate that attachment-based interventions may strengthen substance-abusing mothers’ capacities to foster their toddlers’ socioemotional development.
PMCID: PMC2802496  PMID: 20057923
parenting interventions; substance abuse treatment; family interventions; prevention; parent-child relations
3.  Supportive-Expressive Psychodynamic Therapy for Cocaine Dependence: A Closer Look 
Using data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study, this article focuses on the outcomes of patients who received supportive-expressive (SE) psychodynamically-oriented psychotherapy (plus group drug counseling; GDC). Short-term SE for cocaine dependent individuals, while not the most efficacious treatment examined in the study (individual drug counseling [IDC] plus GDC was), produced large improvements in cocaine use. In addition, there was evidence that SE was superior to IDC on change in family/social problems at the 12 month follow-up assessment, particularly for those patients with relatively more severe difficulties in this domain at baseline. For patients who achieved abstinence early in treatment, SE produced comparable drug use outcomes to IDC, with mean drug use scores numerically lower for SE at all of the follow-up assessments (9, 12, 15, and 18 months). SE patients who achieved initial abstinence decreased cocaine use from a mean 10.1 days per month at baseline to a mean of 1.3 days at 12 months.
PMCID: PMC2786223  PMID: 19960117

Results 1-3 (3)