This study evaluates the effectiveness of the ‘transference interpretation to the setting’ technique in psychodynamic social work practice. Aiming to establish the therapeutic relationship, the practitioner-researcher interprets client negative emotions towards him and the institution as a by-product of the ‘here-and-now’ situation rather than as a repetition of emotions rooted in primary relationships. Adopting the multiple case study method, this study provides an in-depth analysis of the process and the effectiveness of the ‘transference interpretation to the setting’ in clinical practice with six parental couples whose children exhibited separation anxiety disorder. The technique effectively dealt with parental resistance to bring the child for assessment, parental resistance to use the clinician's advice, couple relationship problems and emotional problems of the parents. The empowerment effects of the technique on the parents, and indirectly children, are demonstrated through parent and practitioner narratives. The study concludes that ‘transference interpretation to the setting’ is an effective intervention tool for the social work practitioner.
- social work