Clinical tasks of the dynamic interview

J. Christopher Fowler, J. Christopher Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We examined psychodynamic interview tasks and techniques to identify clinical actions that improve or impede exploration of subjects' emotional responses, conflicts, defenses, and central relationship themes. This article extends previous quantitative studies (Perry, Fowler, & Greif, unpublished; Perry, Fowler, & Semeniuk, 2005) by examining interview vignettes in 50-minute psychodynamic research interviews. We conducted qualitative analyses on 72 dynamic research interviews given by 26 subjects to delineate categories of tasks and interventions. Results indicated five broad tasks of the dynamic interview: 1) Frame Setting; 2) Offering Support; 3) Exploring Affect; 4) Offering Trial Interpretations; and 5) Providing a Formulation and Feedback of relationship themes and conflicts. We further selected two interviews each from 10 subjects, in which there was a difference of one standard deviation or greater on the Overall Dynamic Interview Adequacy scale (Perry, 1999), and interviewer errors from the Therapeutic Alliance Analogue scale (Perry, Brysk, & Cooper, 1989). We utilized excerpts from these interviews to highlight the importance of these tasks and techniques in deepening discussion of dynamically meaningful material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-336
Number of pages21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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