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Title: An exploration of child and adolescent psychotherapists' experiences of offering Short Term Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (STPP)
Author: Isaacs, Danny
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 751X
Awarding Body: University of Essex & Tavistock and POrtman NHS Trust
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2020
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Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is often thought of as a long-term treatment, however there is a rich history of short-term treatments in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Short-Term Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (STPP) was found to be as effective for the treatment of moderate to severe depression in adolescents aged 11-17 as CBT and a brief psychosocial intervention (BPI) (Goodyer et al, 2017), and the evidence base for time-limited psychoanalytic treatments with children and adolescents continues to grow. However, to the author’s knowledge there are no existing studies exploring child and adolescent psychotherapists’ experiences of offering short-term psychoanalytic treatments. The current study set out to investigate this topic by using qualitative data exploring child and adolescent psychotherapists’ experiences of offering STPP as part of a large randomized controlled trial (RCT), the IMPACT study, collected as part of the IMPACT: My Experience (IMPACT-ME) study (Midgley, Ansaldo & Target, 2014). Further qualitative data regarding the experiences of six child and adolescent psychotherapists offering STPP as part of everyday clinical practice was also collected, via a semi-structured interview developed from the interview used in the IMPACT-ME study. The two data sets were analysed using thematic analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis, respectively. Child and adolescent psychotherapists offering STPP both within an RCT and everyday clinical practice reflected on their experiences of working with the time-limit, working with the STPP manual, and the roles of parent-work, supervision, and assessment. They also questioned: for which patients STPP might be a good fit; what STPP might be able to help with; how different STPP is from open-ended psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and how the profession might think about time and duration. They also reflected on the potential role of STPP in helping to manage resource and service-based pressures, and the influence an RCT might have on the experience of offering STPP. The experiences of the participants seem to suggest STPP could be helpful and valuable treatment option for children and adolescents with a range of mental health difficulties, and that STPP remained true to the core principles of psychoanalytic work. Interpretative ways of understanding the participants experiences are considered, along with the implications for the use of STPP within mental health services in the NHS.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available