A re-consideration of interpretation. A relational approach

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This paper is a discussion paper and it seeks to re-consider the Freudian psychoanalytic concept of interpretation within the relational approach to psychoanalysis. As such, it aims to argue the Freudian approach to interpretation is rejected because it is not relational but involves only the analyst as interpreter of the patient's experience. Instead, within the relational approach, it is suggested that if interpretation, as a process of making meaning of experiences, is re-considered as the outcome of the intersubjective relationship in which the process of making-meaning is essentially a co-creational process of the patient's experience of the analyst in the here-and-now, interpretation can potentially be an agent of change. The clinical implication is that interpretation must be the construction of the patient's meaning of his experience but within the relational context. A clinical verbatim transcript is documented as it illustrates this relational process in interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Experience
  • Interpretation
  • Intersubjective
  • Meaning
  • Relational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health


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