Research findings from the field of psychology in the service of psychotherapy
Editor: Jadwiga Małgorzata Rakowska





Jadwiga Małgorzata RAKOWSKA (2015). Research findings from the field of psychology in the practice of psychotherapy. Annals of Psychology, 18 (3), 269-276.


Abstract: The common objective of the articles included in this issue of Roczniki Psychologiczne is to explain some psychological mechanisms of psychotherapy by drawing on research findings from different areas of psychology. The need for such analyses is justified by the status of research on psychotherapy, which shows that psychotherapy works, but it is not known how or why it does. Such analyses are carried out in accordance with the paradigm of evidence-based clinical practice, suggesting that a potential source of answers to questions or resolution of controversies arising in the practice of psychotherapy can be all the available research findings. The articles in this issue of Roczniki illustrate the practical execution of this suggestion by using research findings from the field of psychology in search of answers to the questions arising in the practice of psychotherapy. Four of the papers concern the determinants of the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic interventions and explain issues such as: (1) in whom and how to modify coping with stress in order to prevent the recurrence of mental disorder symptoms; (2) how to deal with negative emotions in patients; (3) under what circumstances patients have a chance to change their behavior under the influence of insight into the transference phenomenon; (4) what the effects are of psychotherapists perceiving patients in terms of stereotypical assumptions, and whether and how psychotherapists can control such perception. The fifth article refers to changes in mental functioning in patients treated with psychotherapy and answers the question of what the transformation of self-image is associated with in changing the behavior of patients under the influence of psychotherapy.

Keywords: the practice of psychotherapy, research findings on psychotherapy, research findings in the field of psychology.


Jadwiga Małgorzata RAKOWSKA, Agata DZIURSKA, Urszula ZIĘTALEWICZ, Piotr PAWŁOWSKI, Radosław TWORUS (2015). Modifying copying with stress as a method of preventing the recurrence of mental disorder symptoms. Annals of Psychology, 18 (3), 295-311.


Abstract: The purpose of this article is to find answers to two questions of practical nature regarding the effectiveness of psychotherapy by referring to research results. These questions are the following: (1) In the case of which mental disorders is there a need to increase the skills of coping with stress in order to prevent the recurrence of symptoms? (2) What would that increase in coping skills be based on? A review of research on the deferred effects of psychotherapy showed that, firstly, studies address only depressive disorders, and, secondly, that teaching different cognitive and behavioral skills is effective in preventing the recurrence of these disorders. A review of studies on the contribution of stress to the etiology of mental disorders showed that in case of 13 disorders the contribution of stress is confirmed by empirical evidence. The theoretical clinical literature suggests that stress contributes to the induction of symptoms in cases of a larger number of disorders. Based on a review of research on coping with stress in representative general populations of adults experiencing stressful situations or traumatic events, it was determined what the ability of effective coping with stress consists in. It consists in adapting appropriate coping strategies aimed at eliminating the stressor or at mitigating the negative emotions associated with stress. In psychotherapy, teaching this skill seems to be a promising method of preventing the recurrence of mental disorder symptoms whose formation is associated with stress.

Keywords: coping with stress, psychotherapy, preventing the recurrence of mental disorder symptoms.


Ewa TRZEBIŃSKA, Anna GABIŃSKA (2015). Correcting emotions in psychotherapy. Annals of Psychology, 18 (3), 329-343.


Abstract: The aim of the article is to discuss the assumptions regarding the principles of working with emotions in psychotherapy in the light of contemporary knowledge about emotions. In the first part, we present the basic concepts and assumptions about emotions developed in the field of psychology,  which suggest that emotional problems may result not only from insufficient regulation of emotions but also from incorrectly formed emotional traits. The second part of the article presents a review of studies indicating the limitations of the scope of application of traditional techniques,  whose aim is to influence the course of emotions so that they are more conscious and more easily expressed or inhibited. In the third part, the assumptions on changing emotional traits during the therapeutic process are discussed and the possible mechanisms that can be used to build interventions aimed at modifying emotional traits are pointed out.

Keywords: emotions, emotion regulation, emotional traits, psychotherapy, therapeutic techniques.


Hubert SUSZEK, Emilia WEGNER, Norbert MALISZEWSKI (2015). Transference and its usefulness in psychotherapy in the light of empirical evidence. Annals of Psychology, 18 (3), 363-380.


Abstract: The paper is aimed at finding answers to the following questions: (1) Is there empirical evidence for the psychoanalytic concept of transference? (2) Is there empirical evidence for the usefulness of working with transference in psychotherapy? Objections concerning the reality and practical value of transference have been summarized. A review of research dedicated to transference has been conducted, covering fundamental research in the psychology of social cognition as well as research on psychotherapy using both psychodynamic and nonpsychodynamic approaches. Studies from the first group confirm the existence of transference. Studies from the second group indicate conditions in which working with transference in psychotherapy seems to be efficient. Implications for psychotherapy practice have been formulated.

Keywords: transference, transference interpretation, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, social



Monika TARNOWSKA, Mirosław KOFTA, Krzysztof JEDLIŃSKI (2015). Therapist’s humanization of the patient: Promoting and interfering factors. Annals of Psychology, 18 (3), 407-431.


Abstract: The dynamic development of research focusing on effective elements in psychotherapy has revealed not only which therapeutic techniques are particularly effective in treating specific disorders, but also which elements of the therapeutic relationship make psychotherapy work. The latter include therapeutic alliance and therapist’s empathy. Both of these concepts are complex, multidimensional constructs; they seem to share one crucial element – the humanization (mentalization) of the client: the fact that the therapist ascribes psychological depth and agency to his /her patient. In this context, we formulate a question concerning the factors that might facilitate or interfere with this kind of therapist’s attitude. We look for an answer to this question not only in the literature on psychotherapy but also in the area of social psychology. Taking into consideration the conclusions derived from both research domains, we formulate recommendations for clinical practice intended to humanize the relationship between the therapist and his /her client. We also formulate research questions aimed at empirical verification of the recommendations.

Keywords: humanization of the client in the therapeutic relationship, therapist’s mentalization, therapeutic relationship.


Mirosława HUFLEJT-ŁUKASIK, Wacław BĄK, Rafał STYŁA, Krzysztof KLAJS (2015). Changes in the self in the course of psychotherapy. Annals of Psychology, 18 (3), 449-464.


Abstract: The article is devoted to how the process and effects of psychotherapy may be analyzed and understood from the point of view of research on self-concept. Based on an analysis of the literature and their own clinical experience, the authors try to answer the following four research questions: (1) What does the change in self-concept in the course of psychotherapy consist in? (2) What is it that changes in self-concept: the structure, the content, or both? What are the mechanisms of the change? (3) What effects do changes in the self bring for the client’s functioning? (4) Is it possible for a change to occur in the course of psychotherapy without being accompanied by a change in the self? In order to answer these questions, a review of empirical research on changes in the content and structure of the self is carried out. The authors present the findings of studies referring, for example, to concepts such as: compartmentalization (Showers), self-complexity (Linville), objective self-awareness (Duval), possible selves (Markus), or self-concept clarity (Campbell). The final part of the article presents conclusions for practitioners. The highlighted issues include the building of a complete and generally positive self-concept, with those negative elements that bring more complete self-knowledge and give a direction to a person’s development. It is remarked that a change in the content of the self carries with it a change in self-structure, the latter being more strongly linked to adjustment and mental health than content change itself. The authors emphasize the protective role of positive future self-concept and point out that if the precondition of mental health and effective self-regulation is up-to-date and extensive self-knowledge, then psychotherapy by definition involves change in the self.

Keywords: self-concept, the content of the self, self-structure, the effectiveness of psychotherapy, the process of psychotherapy.

Autor: Ana Ivanova
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 30.10.2016, godz. 08:24 - Ana Ivanova