I find myself in general agreement with all that has been posted here lately- Norm has summed it up nicely- whether "it's done within the therapeutic relationship, or outside it, at the moment feels academic" Patients learn through and from their experience with us and from how we help them understand and interpret the world outside of treatment. We help them learn how they have constructed their inner and outer worlds from their previous experiences.
As "good new parents "we teach, we hold, we inform and we provide corrective experiences which range from enactment's to providing space for psychic work. There are so many techniques that can help our patients grow. The fact is that we all seek to help our patients avoid shame, increase self awareness and gain insight into the repetitive scripts and beliefs that have interfered in their lives. It is clear that Jim's patient has "gotten better" We do seem to share expectations that our work will change how our patients feel about themselves and view the world. We try to arm them with a more realistic method of appraising the dangers in the world, and try to offer tools( insight) for dealing most successfully out there.
We may emphasize our relationship as the most fertile soil for such explorations or not. Control Mastery has no position about which is best- for some patients it is the safest way to work and for others it would feel to intense and narcissistic on our part. Our research has shown that the amount of transference interpretations has no correlation with outcome success (see the following articles for the details of this fascinating study) . Fretter, P. The immediate effects of transference interpretations on patients' progress in brief, psychodynamic psychotherapy. Doctoral Dissertation, University of San Francisco, 1984. Dissertation Abstracts International, 46(6). University Microfilms No. 85-12112.or Fretter P., Bucci, W., Broitman, J., Silberschatz, G., & Curtis, J. How the patient's plan relates to the concept of transference. Psychotherapy Research, 1994, 4(1), 58-72