Processes in Psychotherapy and the MATRIX: The Case of Projective Identification

Psychodyn Psychiatry. 2018 Fall;46(3):393-410. doi: 10.1521/pdps.2018.46.3.393.


The MATRIX is a tool designed to analyze psychoanalytic sessions. It is composed of two axes: focus (patient, therapist, and dyad) and dimension (space, content, and order). The MATRIX was found to be a reliable tool, and valid for identifying the therapist's theoretical inclinations in psychoanalytic-oriented psychotherapy sessions. In the present study, we suggest that the MATRIX can identify different (Kleinian, Bionian, and relational) approaches to projective identification, thus providing therapists and supervisors an easy-to-use tool for monitoring, and better managing, projective identifications during psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy.

Keywords: MATRIX; PI; process analysis; psychoanalysis; psychotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Projection*
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy / methods*