Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A therapist interpretation is a technique that introduces the client to a new, theoretically based frame of reference. An interpretation goes beyond the explicit and observable client content and involves communicating an inferred component with the intention of adding new knowledge, understanding, or meaning. Interpretation is the central technique in psychoanalysis and in most psycnodynamic therapies in which achieving insight and new understanding is considered therapeutic. In early psychoanalytic formulations, interpreting client free associations served the function of abreacting strangulated affect. Over time, modifications were made to psychoanalysis, but the centrality of interpretation remained. In general, an interpretation refers to client content that is out of awareness, and it serves to make the unconscious material conscious. Within the psychodynamic therapies, interpretations are divided between transference and extratransference interpretations, Transference ...