Research papers and theory development

List of authors and topics

1. Promoting Resilience in New Family Models    

  1. Mara Adriani PTSTA-P; Tiziana Frazzetto PTSTA-P

As transactional analysts of 2021 we face challenges in understanding new family configurations. The traditional nuclear family is increasingly becoming a numerically smaller reality. 
Structural changes in the family have generated what we can now call modern families. 
The socio-emotional development of children can be fostered or hindered by the complex interactions between parents’ psychological well-being, quality of parental care and the affective and social environment of the family. 

Family processes promote the well-being and psychological adaptation of children more than the family structure, although this does not mean that the family structure is irrelevant. We will examine the consequences of new family structures and the importance of parents’ psychological conditions on parental care and child development. 

We will see how Transactional Analysts can foster resilience processes within new family types and how to reduce discomfort related to stigmatization processes. 

4. Scoring Instrument for the Systemic Organizational Analysis (SCISOA)

4. Günther Mohr, Economist and Psychologist, Training and Supervising Transactional Analyst

Transactional Analysis organizational theory is offering concepts to describe the system of an organization. The Scoring Instrument for the Systemic Organizational Analysis (SCISOA) is such a questionnaire to assess the quality of an organization in ten dimensions. The dimensions are attention, roles, system relationships, communication, problem solving, success, equilibrium, recursivity, inner and outer pulsation. In the presentation a longer version and a smaller version of the SCISOA arte presented and discussed.

5. Resilience and transformative role in conflicting separations: the Office Technical Consulting

5. Mara Adriani PTSTA P

This work is born from the personal and professional reflection of how to combine the skills acquired as a Transactional Analyst and consequent training in the legal field. Like professional figures working in the social sector, I reflected over the possibility to overcome crises and difficulties by educating and educating ourselves on resilience. In particular, I will deal with the issue of separation and custody of children. Facing a separation, having two separated parents, necessarily involve trauma and negative outcomes in terms of affective, emotional and relational development of one’s life? The answers are not necessarily already implied nor necessarily granted. Resilience studies show that a destiny does not necessarily repeatedly without a way out. Common thinking could imply that abused children will be future abusers. Research shows that parents who abuse have been mistreated in childhood, but only a minority of abused children reproduce their parents’ behavior. I will explain how in Italy the issue of the custody of minors in conflicting separations is handled and I will deal specifically with the concept of resilience and how it can be linked to the Office Technical Consulting (OTC) path and the specific role of the appointed party technical consultant. The function of OTC is to provide the Court with information in addition to those already in its possession, moreover it does supply: an in-depth study about the issues related to the quality of family ties between the child and the referent adults, the personological characteristics of the parents, as well as, their parental capacity. The report produced by OTC does include also professional suggestions about the best conditions of custody in order to ensure healthy and harmonious growth of the child in addition to the previous legal history and related documentation submitted by lawyers, possible reports from social services and so forth. During the swearing-in hearing of the Office Technical Consultant (OTC) along with the parties’ lawyers, may appoint their Own Party Technical Consultant (PTC), who will attend all expert operations.

6. The Autonomous Adult and the ‘Good Enough’ World

6. James M. Sedgwick, PhD, CTA, MSC, MA.

Autonomy is often thought of as a pre-given attribute of individuals which is compromised during development, intra-psychically held at bay and potentially recoverable during psychological work. This paper argues that autonomy can be better understood as the emergent product of the individual and a ‘good enough world’ which offers particular social preconditions which make effective action and awareness possible. Seeking to describe those social preconditions in detail, the paper concludes with an argument in favour of social and political awareness and action as necessary focal points for transactional analysis counselling and psychotherapy seeking to promote autonomy.

7. School inclusion and resilience: the importance of active methodologies to cultivate Okness

7. Claudia Matini, CTA, educational psychologist

 School inclusion aims to encourage respect for all students, equal opportunities for learning and evaluation, group belonging and participation, in consideration of the social, biological and cultural characteristics of each.

The role of the educating community is fundamental, especially in Covid times. There are many variables that influence the success of an inclusive path for students.
Among these, the characteristics of the classroom environment are fundamental. The environment can be considered as a mere physical place, and as a relational place in which the quality of proximity among people, teachers and students can be enhanced. It then becomes a fundamental key where personal needs can find admittance and satisfaction, first among all the need and the right to feel ok.

The educational and peer relationships can stimulate the okness of all the people involved in a more or less effective way.

To grow in a healthy way and develop a resilient attitude, every student must feel self-confident enough to be able to open up to his companions, to know them and himself, to be able to share, to be able to cooperate.

When students with difficulties are involved, this path is made considerably more difficult by the dynamics of inclusion / exclusion they experience every day. How can school encourage students to be aware of their own and others’ being ok?

Active methodologies (cooperative learning, discussion techniques, collaborative learning, peer tutoring) are a resource to support the inclusive process of all students, their security of being able to think, express themselves, collaborate, through the creation of an environment where participation, collaboration and responsibility are shared according to clear rules.
This contribution will explain the potential of active methodologies to foster relationships based on mutual respect, considering the cognitive and interactional mechanisms that support inclusion and sense of belonging of students at school from a TA point of view

8. When does teacher training work? Possible quality indicators from a TA point of view

8. Matini Claudia (CTA, educational psychologist), Pavan Daniela (CTA, psychotherapist and teacher), Malusà Giovanna (psychologist)

The main purpose of teaching methodologies, such as Cooperative Learning, and AT Educational is to facilitate the health and psychological growth of the teacher-learner dyad through the development of meaningful learning and personal autonomy.
Various research highlights the inadequacy of training courses that often fail to transmit to teachers tools and skills that promote well-being in the school and develop resilience in its actors (Buchs, Filippou, Pulfrey, & Volpe, 2017; Malusà 2019).

According to Berne (1967) awareness, spontaneity and intimacy are basic elements for the development of personal autonomy. Could they be developed through courses that promote laboratory work, active participation and development of relationality among participants?
What constitutive elements should a training course possess to facilitate personal and professional change and give teachers the ability to cope with difficult situations or periods?
To identify possible quality indicators, we monitored 17 training courses of 15-25 hours conducted in 2017 and 2018 by 9 trainers in 12 different cities in Veneto, Trentino, Liguria, Emilia and Umbria.

The experiential training involved 669 in service teachers from kindergarten to high school and included many cooperative activities based on the techniques of various authors (Kagan, 2000; Johnson and Johnson, 1994).

We collected the data through an online post-training satisfaction questionnaire, including a biographical section, 2 open questions and 10 questions on a 10-point Likert scale.
The quantitative analysis (Malusà, Matini, Pavan, 2019) highlights high levels of satisfaction in the participants (µ = 8.82; Mo = 10.00; Ds = 1.18), interest (µ = 915; Mo = 10, 00; Ds = 1.04) and involvement in group work (µ = 9.03; Mo = 10.00; Ds = 1.12), with trainers attentive to the needs of the students (µ = 9.35; Mo = 10.00; Ds = 0.89). It also shows a significant correlation between perceived satisfaction and engagement (0.748 p <0.01-two-tailed).
From the qualitative analysis some strengths and weaknesses of the training proposal emerge, which underline the value of simulations, of active participation and of specific characteristics of the trainer, such as the ability to «be flexible, to use appropriate behaviors, to put oneself in relation to different students and to create effective relationships with learners ”(Temple 2004).

These elements will be discussed from a TA perspective.

9. The scientific status of transactional analysis psychotherapy   

9. Mark Widdowson, PhD, MSc, ECP, TSTA (P),  Ales Zivkovic, MSc, PTSTA(P)

We will present an overview of the existing research evidence for TA psychotherapy, what this means for the TA community, and how this relates to established criteria for empirically supported therapies. We will also identify strengths and weaknesses, gaps in the literature and current research into the effectiveness of TA.Aim: The aim of the present study is to examine the current scientific status of Transactional Analysis psychotherapy and specifically the evidence base for the effectiveness of TA psychotherapy. Method: a literature search of academic databases and TA specific journals  was conducted.using both digital and manual screeneing. Data was thematically organised. Outcomess: There is suffcient evidence to make claims that TA is evdience based psychotherapy for several disorders and that it is effective in both individual and group therapy formats. Despite this, TA remains an under-researched psychotherapy, and considerably more nees to be done to establish TA psychotherapy for a wide range of disorders. Findings: TA is an effective psychotherapy for depression and anxiety and is effective in both individual and group formats. TA is also effective for a range of common comorbidities.

10. TA Psychotherapy and clinical supervision in digital space – Reflections from research and practice, potential, challenges and risks

10. prof. dr Aleksandra Djurić, CTA | prof.dr Kristina Brajović Car, PTSTA

Online psychotherapy, clinical supervision and training have been available to clients and helping professionals during the pandemic without interruption. That was one of the important elements in society resilience and support to individual stability. Theme of this panel will be to discuss, theoretically and empirically from different perspectives, risks and potential of online training, supervision and psychotherapy especially in the light of prolonged pandemic experience and habituation to mediated ways of intimacy exchange and knowledge construction. Panel will be opened with short presentation of the results from qualitative research that was conducted via in-depth interviews with 27 psychotherapist under supervision from Serbia and Croatia between June and September of 2020.

11. Developing resilience through homonomy       

11. Keith Tudor, PhD, MSc, MA, BA(Hons), CTA(P), TSTA(P)

This paper argues that resilience homonomy or a sense of belonging as much as autonomy. Given the centrality of the concept of autonomy in transactional analysis (TA), the paper presents a critique of autonomy and an undue focus on the individual; and advances an elaboration of homonomy, encompassing a re-evaluation of the existential roots of TA, a re-vitalisation of radical psychiatry, and a re-orientation to social and community well-being.

12. Resistance to the transference and countertransference from the psychotherapist.

12. Maya Lutay CTA-P-ITAA

My research for my PhD are focus on the transferenctial processes during psychotherapy between clients and the psychotherapyst.

And how psychotherapist could uncounciously be resistant towart to the transference and countertrsncference that could help in the effective and efficient psychotherapy.

13. Final Scene Awareness and Remission Duration in Clients with Alcohol Dependence   

13. O.D. Tuchina, psychologist, researcher, T.V. Agibalova, MD, PhD, principal researcher, CTA (P), D.I. Shustov, MD, PhD, Head of Psychiatry Department TSTA (P)

The goal of this study was to test a hypothesis about the existence of different groups of patients with alcohol dependence – those who develop and those who fail to develop long-term remissions – depending on the parameters of their script that we conceptualize as implicit future thinking. 

Methods. The sample described herein included 61 male medical rehabilitation patients diagnosed with alcohol dependence (F 10.2 in ICD-10) aged 25 – 69 without comorbid mental and behavioral disorders and a minimum abstinence period of 14 days. Final scene awareness and other script variables were studied by analyzing information gathered in the course of semi-structured therapeutic interview; Life-Line method; self-defining future projection task; and the Script Questionnaire. 

Results. When studying future thinking in alcohol-dependent patients using the hierarchical cluster analysis, we singled out 2 patient clusters based on the script-related variables (e.g. ability to verbalize one’s cause of death; being named in honor of another person etc.). These clusters did not differ in sociodemographic, addiction severity variables (save as the remission-related variables) and explicit future thinking as measured by the Life Line and Self-defining future projection tasks. The clusters differed mainly in the levels of verbalization, understanding, and reflecting on the elements of their script and its final scene, in particular. Due to the differences found, these patient samples were characterized as the Script-blind (Cluster 1, N=25) and the Script-reflective (Cluster 2, N=36) clusters. The Script-blind cluster patients had a more detached and indifferent view on their future; they verbalized an approximate age (48% versus 83% in Cluster 2) and manner of death (40% versus 75% in Cluster 2) significantly more infrequently as compared to the Script-reflective cluster. The only cause of death that they could verbalize was “a natural death” in contrast to the Script-reflective cluster whose participants were aware of a whole range of potential death causes. The Script-blind patients were barely aware of their own name meaning and story: they did not know who gave them their name (in 78% of cases), and had no emotional associations with their names in most cases (60%). It is interesting that the Script-reflective patients showed better awareness of various disease- and death-related family history events: they reported the presence of alcohol-dependent relatives (95% versus 74% in Cluster 1), alcohol-related deaths in their parents (61.1% versus 28% in Cluster 1), deaths in medical and penitentiary institutions (41.7% versus 12 %) more frequently than the Script-blind patients. They reported the presence of family secrets (56% versus 20%), including those that were related to deaths/diseases (39%) more often than the Script-blind patients. 
As to remission-related variables, the Script-reflective patients tended to develop longer abstinence periods. They had more durable therapeutic remissions (668 versus 180 days in Cluster 1); more abstinence days as of the examination date (28.5 versus 22); more total remission days (1095 versus 545 days); a higher ratio of the total remission days to the alcohol-dependence duration (0.18 versus 0.09). 

A multiple linear regression analysis in the whole sample (N=61) showed that several script final-scene parameters, and namely the forecast of a quick (sudden death); verbalized age of death; the forecast of dying like a relative, influenced the therapeutic remission duration, and a model that included them explained over 50% of variance. 

Conclusions. The study provided preliminary evidence that final scene awareness may be associated with remission duration and thus may become a therapeutic factor for alcohol dependence treatment. 

14. The treatment of envy as a bridge towards intimacy when working with a narcissistic patient

14. Antonella Liverano TSTA-P Professor at Salesian Pontifical University, Beatrice Piermartini PTSTA-P Professor at Salesian Pontifical University

Our relation will focus on treating the feeling of envy that a narcissistic patient frequently experiences when they receive help from the therapist. Specifically, our consideration will deal with the potentials of working on envy when it comes to the progress of therapeutic relation and the growth of a patient’s autonomy.

Envy will be analysed as an “attack” of defensive nature that, during both phases of decontamination and deconfusion, the patient can feel towards the “good elements” built along with the therapist, and as a consequence it will bring the impossibility of accepting them and a deep devaluation of the progress made.

Analysing envy as a process of projective identification, the therapist can embrace the patient’s anger and discounting and then return them in a modified version, allowing the acquisition of self-awareness and the integration of split feelings that are projected outward.
The integration work made starting from envy will gradually allow the patient to access increasing levels of spontaneity and intimacy, and to tolerate the “psychic risks” caused by an affective involvement.

15. Single-Case Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis for Supporting the way of Transactional Analysis toward the recognition as an Empirically Supported Treatment for depression

15. Enrico Benelli, Mariavittoria Zanchetta

Common Mental Disorders represent a severe burden for health, society and economy. Several psychotherapies have shown their efficacy on treating Common Mental Disorders using randomized clinical trials. Psychotherapies that are not supported by research evidences are disenfranchised and marginalized. A way to obtain recognition as Empirically Supported Treatment relies on systematic replication of single-case designs and on the aggregation of results through a meta-analysis. The purpose of this meta-analytic review was synthesizing single-case research on Transactional Analysis (TA) treatment for depression. Specifically, the effect of TA treatment for depression was examined in 11 studies published between 2012 and 2017. Results indicated that, on average, TA psychotherapy for depression had a large effect on depressive symptoms, g = 0.89, 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.29, 1.50]. Implications for future research on TA manualized treatment for specific Common Mental Disorders are discussed.

16. May a long-term group psychotherapy modify the Script? A pilot study using the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme

16. Mattia Piccinini, psychologist and a Transactional Analysis psychotherapist (PerFormat Italia, Genova). Anita Angelica, psychologist and a Transactional Analysis psychotherapist (PerFormat Italia, Catania). Authors: Caterina Romaniello, Mattia Piccinini, Anita Angelica, Brunella Bartalini, Adele Grottoli, Alison Lauriola, Alessandra Della Corte, Marcella Maria Spirito, Emanuela Tangolo

Background: Group psychotherapy has become a widespread setting in clinical practice because of its favorable cost-effectiveness and, accordingly, it is an ever increasing investigated topic in the scientific literature. Despite TA’s strong vocation towards group therapy, studies about transactional analysis group psychotherapy are few; furthermore, almost all of them focus on short-term or monosymptomatic TA groups. The present mixed-method longitudinal study aims to assess change in a sample of clients participating in a long-term psychodynamic TA therapy group, in terms of a) script; b) mentalization; c) personality traits; d) therapist’s countertransference.

Methods: 40 clients were recruited after their first session in a weekly long-term psychodynamic TA group. They underwent questionnaires and interviews in order to investigate their Core Conflictual Relationship Theme (Luborksy & Crits-Christoph, 1990), their level of mentalization through Mind-mindedness (Meins & Fernyhough, 2015), and their level of personality organization through the Inventory Personality Organization (Lenzenweger et al., 2001). The therapist’s countertransference was also assessed yearly through the Therapist Response Questionnaire (Tanzilli et al., 2016). All these measures were repeated every year.

Expected results: After a year of a TA psychotherapeutic group, we hypothesise a change in terms of: a) a lesser pervasiveness of the script measured by CCRT; b) a positive change in one or more aspects of CCRT; c) an increase in the frequency and quality of mentalization; d) a lesser pervasiveness of dysfunctional personality traits. The study is still ongoing and the results are preliminary, so two illustrative single cases will be described.

17. The Experience of the Supervisee within Transactional Analysis Informed Supervision – A Phenomenological Investigation resulting in an MSc. qualification    

17. Andy Williams TSTA(P), UKCP, MSc, MA, BACP Snr Accred, BABCP Accred

Supervision within counselling, psychotherapy and other fields is accepted as an essential component of good practice. The supervisor’s intuition and observations may suggest that they are performing well and have utility in their role as supervisor, but what is the evidence for this? This study investigates the experience of the supervisor’s customer – the supervisee – and inquires of their experience, meaning-making and sense-making of being supervised. The purpose of this study was to determine if there are key themes that emerge from the supervisee’s experience of being supervised and, if so, might that inform the practice of the supervisor? The methodology employed was qualitative employing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Five superordinate themes were identified that now are key findings that inform the author’s practice.

18. The outcome of TA psychotherapy in training clinics according to the Social-Cognitive Transactional Analysis model: a naturalistic multicentric study

18. Davide Ceridono,CTA Trainer, Laura Bastianelli, TSTA, Susanna Bianchini, TSTA, Carla de Nitto, TSTA, Cinzia Messana, TSTA, Emilio Riccioli,CTA Trainer, Silvia Tauriello, TSTA, Antonella Liverano, TSTA, Elzbieta Baca, CTA – IRPIR

The paper presents the results of a research conducted in a naturalistic context on more than 350 adult patients with relational problems and common mental disorders (excluding psychosis, disorders with severe levels, and substance-related disorders), who received a transactional analytic psychotherapy according to the model of Social-Cognitive Transactional Analysis (SCTA) (Scilligo, 2009). The multicentric research, which has received funding by EATA, involved six training clinics of four psychotherapy schools connected to the Institute for Research on Intrapsychic and Relational Processes (IRPIR). The psychotherapies, conducted by the trainees of the third and fourth years of training, were structured according to a common protocol that includes two intake sessions, 21 weekly sessions, and two follow-ups at 2 and 6 months. The outcome of psychotherapy was studied at the end of the treatment and at the 6-month follow-up with two self-report questionnaires: the Anint-A36 (Scilligo, 2000) to measure self-perception in terms of the Self ego states, therefore considering variables of the theoretical reference model; the CORE-OM (Barkam et al., 2006; Palmieri, et al. 2009) to measure psychological distress in terms of pan-theoretical variables. The results of the Anint-A36 show a significant change in the Self ego states that is consistent with the goals of the therapy and the principles of the theoretical model: a reduction of Critical and Rebellious ego states and an increase in Free ego states; the effect sizes are between moderate and large. The results of the CORE-OM show that in patients with a clinical level of distress at the intake (71.7% of the total) 65.3% have a remission or an improvement (52.6% at the end of the therapy have a remission, i.e. a reliable and clinically significant change; 12.7% reliably improve while remaining with clinical levels of distress), 33.5% have no reliable changes, while 1.2% have reliable deterioration. These changes in ego states and psychological distress tend to be maintained at the 6 month follow-up. The data reveals a consistent set of significant correlations between the CORE-OM total score and the Anint-A36 scales: positive correlations with Critical and Rebel ego states and negative correlations with ego states Free and Protective. Overall, the results of this research confirm those of previous studies (Ceridono and Viale, 2013; Ceridono, Perotto, et al., 2015) and support the effectiveness of time-limited SCTA psychotherapy in the treatment of common disorders.

19. Evaluative research of Psychotherapies. Lights and shadow

19. Dr. José Manuel Martínez Rodríguez. MD. Psychiatrist. Teaching and Superving Transactional Analyst – P(T.S.T.A., I.T.A.A., E.A.T.A.). Honorary Professor of Psychiatry. International Integrative Psychotherpist Trainer and Supervisor (I.P.P.A.). University of Valladolid. Institute of Transactional Analysis and Integrative Psychotherapy. Valladolid. Spain. Dr. Veronica Aguado Rodríguez. PhD in Psychology. Integrative Psychotherapist (C.I.I.P, I.I.P.A). Aukebi Psychological Center, Bilbao. Spain Da Sabina Mateo León. Psychologist. Certified Transactional Analyst-P (C.T.A) under contract by EATA. Barcelona. Spain. Da Blanca Fernández Rodríguez. General Health Psychologist. Certified Transactional Analyst-P (C.T.A) under contract by EATA. Certified Integrative Psychotherapist (C.I.I.P., I.I.P.A.). European Certificate of Psychology (EuroPsy) in the field of Clinical Psychology and Health. Institute of Transactional Analysis and Integrative Psychotherapy. Valladolid. Spain. 

There is now a need for psychotherapy professionals to be able to answer questions from users and health managers about the usefulness of the methods we use. This social demand comes, however, influenced by a health and social context in which treatment for specific mental disorders is sought. Anyway the consensus on which the Diagnostic Categories are based doesn´t reflects a psychopathological reality. It is a mere description of symptoms, which changes over time, being its primary goal to facilite communication between professionals and institutions that reimburse expenses. Current classifications (DSM-V, CIE 10a) lack a psychopathological theory that supports diagnostic consensuses. This social demand, on the other hand, does not take into account that psychotherapy, as a generic method of treatment, goes far beyond mere symptomatic reduction. 

Methods of evaluation of psychotherapies have followed the medical model of evaluation of treatments and have chosen as gold standard randomized controlled trials, assuming the challenge of showing that they have effective means to treat specific mental disorders. This creates an implicit competition with psychopharmacological treatments for specific disorders and between schools of psychotherapy. On the other hand, different schools implicitly assume a frame of reference in which what is validated by current evaluation methods is not the basic psychopathological construct but the techniques and methods that are effective for the treatment of specific disorders. 

Current methods of evaluation of psychotherapies have privileged three dimensions to evaluate, effectiveness, effectiveness and efficiency in symptomatic reduction, regardless of other possible dimensions, such as improving self-knowlege, personal development, transformation of personality traits, improvement of quality of life, etc. On the other hand, funding entities in the evaluative research of psychotherapies are at risk of funding short forms of psychotherapy, easily replicable, but with little long-term follow-up, versus psychotherapeutic interventions of complex and prolonged mental disorders. 

Almost all schools work implicitly with cognitive behavioral techniques that have been found effective in evaluation studies. It should therefore be noted that these procedures, common to most psychotherapy schools, are already an a priori indicator of their effectiveness. Research could then proceed to validate in a concerted manner the affective, behavioral, physiological and cognitive components that are effective present in different proportions throughout treatment in different schools. 

Since the 1990s, a methodological corpus has been generated that has been refined in order to eliminate biases in research, improve causal inferences and improve statistical power of analysis. Today it is thought in terms of a hierarchy of evidence combining experimental, quasi-experimental and observational methods to inform the clinician. While this hierarchy of evidence is at the service of improving the decision-making of professionals, there is a risk that funding companies and health managers will use the evidence the wrong way as if the results of the research had a direct translation into improving care. Good results in researching the effectiveness of a treatment method may not follow well in clinical practice. On the other hand, there are patients who can improve with methods with which most do not improve. 

Therefore, the results of the current evidence list should not be considered definitive, it should be used with caution without considering that techniques that do not currently have evidence are ineffective or useless. On the other hand, it is important that evaluative researchers of psychotherapies continue to establish their own evaluation methods, reflecting the depth of psychotherapies by differentiating them from the methods used to evaluate medical treatments. 

20. Measuring relational needs: Relational Needs Satisfaction Scale (RNSS)

20. Assoc. prof. Gregor Žvelc, clinical psychologist, TSTA

(University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology)

Relational needs satisfaction scale (RNSS) is a new scale, which measures relational needs according to the model of Richard G. Erskine. It includes 20 items, which refer to five dimensions of relational needs: Authenticity, Support and Protection, Having an Impact, Shared Experience, and Initiative from the Other. The scale also includes an overall score of relational needs satisfaction. In the presentation, we will describe development of the instrument and results from the main validation study (Žvelc, Jovanoska, & Žvelc, 2020). The results of the research study show that RNSS has good reliability and positively and significantly correlates with secure attachment style, self-compassion, higher satisfaction with life, and better well-being. We will also compare results from the main Slovenian validation study with the results from studies done in Czech republic and Turkey. We will discuss potential areas of research with RNSS and implications for assessing the change of relational needs in psychotherapy.

21. «Parenting in another way“ – educational group work with potential adopters

21. Dragana Jovanovic Boka, PTSTA-E, National certification of psychotherapy – Association of Psychotherapists of Serbia, master of pedagogy

The initial idea of the educational-supportive program «Parenting in a Other Way» is based on psychological and social benefits of adoption as the complex and permanent form of protection of children without parental care. Adoption provides the optimal opportunity to a child deprived of a primary family and parental care, to grow into a confident and emotionally stable person with double identities to be integrated. Although the regular adoption procedure provides a framework for an expert approach to the preparation of adopters, this program integrates the current practice of the Center for Social Work in the assessment process for adoption and It is based on researching the needs of adoptive parents and children without adequate parental care, as well as professionals who work with them. An important part of this programm is to work on on the identification, decontamination and change of contaminated beliefs about adoption and modeling the parental styles which meets the children needs;

The program is based on the theoretical and practical application of transactional analysis, in such a way that the workshop work is based on the theoretical concepts of TA and applied to the identified needs in the process of adoption. In order to provide a safe environment, adopters need a deeper understanding how child development and attachment can be disrupted when a child is raised in a neglectful or abusive environment, with a lot of separation and traumatization. Through the program adopters understand and develop their parenting skills and become responsive and attuned to children needs. They learn to differentiate between meeting the needs of their own and children without parenting care through the group sharing and discussion. The training focuses on how they can build a relationship that will help the health child identity. The TA-based training is focused on developing self-awareness and perception of child needs, Cultural prejudice and they own contamination. The need to recognize they own needs, quality of couple relationship, their own internal world in order to understand the child’s world. The length of the training, it is 12 workshops (3 hours each) is linked to how deeply the groups can venture together, how open the participants become, and how much they can learn about themselves.

Transactional analysis is an effective tool for promoting relational stability and lends itself to practical application in the field of fostering and adoption. The relationship between the child and the invested adult provides an opportunity to offer a different experience to the hurt child. Behavioral and emotional changes take place when children and young people feel deeply understood and have adults in their lives who can look beyond the behavior to “get inside” the child’s internal world. Emotional containment and affect regulation are a very important task with children without parental care, and adopters need to learn some effective tools to deal with.

The screening of the effect of group activity was done through the presence of level of dysfunctional, contaminated beliefs regarding significant issues that refer the adoption. The evaluation questionnaire is oriented to the screening of four groups of beliefs:

1. group – partners’ functioning

2. group – parents’ functioning

3. group – personal potentials of adopters

4. group – images on the needs of the adopted child

These second phase represented the preparation of professionals for the implementation of the program and the creation of a brochure for professionals in the centers for social work.

Personal growth of adopters and development of parental competences is a result of this group work. Also, result is a higher level of professional sensibilization for parent-child attunement and awareness of professional methodology dealing with adoption.

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