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Review
, 76 (3), 195-210

Transference Interpretation in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder Patients

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Review

Transference Interpretation in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder Patients

Justin K Higa et al. Bull Menninger Clin.

Abstract

Transference is seen as an important change mechanism in psychotherapeutic technique, although questions remain about its therapeutic use, especially with borderline personality disorder (BPD) patients. This article illustrates the lively debate about transference interpretation through the perspective of two psychotherapeutic techniques under empirical scrutiny--transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) and mentalization-based treatment (MBT). Each technique offers a similar understanding and appreciation of transference, but they differ in their technical use of this change mechanism. The article presents a brief case study of a BPD patient. The treatment highlights the utility of each psychotherapeutic technique in understanding the developmental progress made by the patient in therapy. The authors argue that each technique may be useful in a long-term dynamic therapy, and that one can use an epigenetic framework to understand this observation.

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