Assimilative psychodynamic psychotherapy: A critical case study reconsideration

Sarah Bloch-Elkouby, Lauren Knopf, Jerold Gold, J. Christopher Muran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The aim of this article is to examine an integrative model of psychotherapy, assimilative psychodynamic psychotherapy (APP), and to illustrate it with a case conducted by the first author. This examination strives to understand ways in which APP's approach to therapy is faithful to the psychodynamic model and compatible with the cognitive- behavioral schools of thought and to what extent it provides a coherent approach to treatment. The following dimensions of APP are reviewed: (a) APP's conceptualization of psychological functioning and psychopathology, (b) APP's treatment goals and its conceptualization of change principles, and (c) APP's internal coherence in view of the different techniques and therapeutic stances it fosters. We suggest that APP's main strengths are the comprehensive model of change and the flexibility it entails, which allow for a better adjustment to the patients and their needs. With regard to treatment goals and change principles, we suggest that APP's therapeutic goals, each involving different models of change, may not be fully compatible from a theoretical standpoint. In addition, we show that the seemingly contradictory therapeutic stances and techniques involved in APP may be a source of inconsistency in treatment but may also provide fertile ground for sophisticated and beneficial therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-264
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Assimilative integration
  • Assimilative psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Case study


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