Motive-oriented therapeutic relationship in brief psychodynamic intervention for patients with depression and personality disorders


  • We thank Jean-Pierre Dauwalder for his support in this project, and Thomas Berger and Isabelle Schmutz for their help in training in Plan Analysis and Motive-Oriented Therapeutic Relationship Scale. The data stem from a project financially supported by the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS), Grant no 3200-05901.98.


Motive-Oriented Therapeutic Relationship (MOTR, also called Complementary Therapeutic Relationship) has already shown itself to be related to therapeutic outcome in several studies. The present study aims to test MOTR in a 4-session Brief Psychodynamic Intervention for patients presenting with major depressive disorder (MDD) and comorbid personality disorder (PD). In total, N = 20 patients were selected; n = 10 had MDD, n = 10 had MDD with comorbid PD. The first therapy session was videotaped and analyzed by means of Plan Analysis and the MOTR scale. Results suggest a differential effect on outcome: only the nonverbal component of MOTR is related to symptomatic change in patients presenting with MDD and comorbid PD; no such effect was found for patients with MDD alone. These results are discussed in line with the generalization and refinement of the conclusions of previous findings on the MOTR. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 67:1–11, 2011.