A psycho-diagnostic tool for psychotherapy: Interactional Pattern Analysis (IPA)
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This article proposes a description of a psycho-diagnostic tool for psychotherapists, the Interactional Pattern Analysis (IPA). Sixteen interpersonal variables are proposed to describe the observable behaviour that constitutes a client’s interpersonal style within the context of a particular relationship, such as client-therapist; husband-wife; mother-daughter; friends: context; definition of the relationship; clarity of self-presentation; emotional distance; accurate empathy; congruence and unconditional acceptance; confirmation; expression of needs; linear/circular approach; degree of interpersonal flexibility/rigidity; ability to meta-communicate; adequacy of problem-solving skills; control; potential for eliciting rejection or acceptance; and traumatic incidents. In the context of the psychotherapeutic relationship, trained psychotherapists observe clients’ interpersonal styles based on a combination of these interpersonal variables with the intention of proposing a link between clients’ patterns of behaviour and their presenting complaints. Based on this connection, appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions can be implemented.
- Faculty of Health Sciences