Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
by Otto Kernberg
Preeminent psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg doesn’t back down in this series of three diagnostic Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) sessions with a paranoid client struggling with suicidal depression after being left by his girlfriend.

Part of the 3-video series: 3 Approaches to Personality Disorders
Prepare to be awed by a master in action with this comprehensive video featuring the venerable psychotherapist Otto Kernberg. Watch this leading figure demonstrate Transference-Focused Therapy (TFP), a highly interactive approach to assessing and working with severe personality disorders—hardly the passive, blank-slate psychotherapy of yesteryear that you might expect. Indeed, you’ll be fascinated by Kernberg’s authenticity and deft handling of a client who presents a range of clinical and relational challenges.

Alfred, a 40-year-old night receptionist, has recently suffered an abrupt breakup with his girlfriend of four years. Despondent, he suspects that her therapists have influenced her to leave him—and wonders if Kernberg might be against him, too. In a style that manages to be both respectful and confrontational, Kernberg skillfully uncovers the details of Alfred’s story, including his heavy drinking and violent behavior, and presents interpretations that give him a clearer picture of his predicament. Leveraging Alfred’s paranoid transference, Kernberg manages to strengthen the therapeutic alliance and gain commitment to ongoing treatment.

You’ll find a demonstration of TFP assessment and technique here, with plenty of commentary along the way to highlight Kernberg’s objectives. This video presents three full sessions, giving you a wealth of material and a rare opportunity to learn from one of the leading figures in modern psychoanalytic theory and practice.

A classic in the making, this video is a must for therapists looking to understand more about transference dynamics, present-moment tracking, assessment of borderline and other personality disorders, and adopting the objective stance that creates safety and self-awareness.

Note: This video is part of a series, 3 Approaches to Personality Disorders, in which two other masters—DBT creator Marsha Linehan and CBT expert Art Freeman—work with the same client.

Save on the complete 3-video series!

What therapists are saying…

"This video presents a diagnostic interview and therapeutic intervention by one of the most influential contributors to our contemporary understanding of the assessment and treatment of severe personality disorders. In three sequential interviews captured on video, Dr. Kernberg illustrates his ability to empathize with his challenging patient while at the same time deepening the patient's level of self-understanding. Pre- and post-session discussions and voice over commentaries illuminate the thoughtfulness behind Kernberg's interventions. This video provides a rare and invaluable learning opportunity, and will be cherished by experienced clinicians as well as students new to the field for years to come."

-- Eve Caligor MD, Director, Psychotherapy Division, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research
 "Offers a unique perspective on the therapeutic techniques of TFP. Unlike reading a textbook, watching this video gives the viewer a comprehensive understanding of the theory, effectively bringing it theory to life....a useful teaching tool for instructors and learning tool for students."

-- Nicole Berry, reviewed in The Professional Counselor
"Dr. Kernberg is artful in exemplifying an approach that remains open and honest but neutral in tone. ... This video successfully explores the issues vital to understanding the therapeutic relationship through a psychodynamic and psychoanalytic process that helps clients to reconcile polarities by achieving a more integrated view of others."

-- Adele Logan O'Keefe, reviewed in The Professional Counselor
In Depth
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Alfred, a 40-year-old client seamlessly portrayed by Dutch actor Henk Grashuis, is an extremely challenging client who manifests significant Axis II issues. This solitary night receptionist struggles with suicidal ideation, anger, and a sense that he has been treated unfairly by his sister and ex-girlfriend—all of which is hidden behind a brittle defensiveness that could spark a strong countertransference reaction in many therapists. Kernberg patiently conducts an initial assessment interspersed with Transference-Focused Psychotherapy techniques, including diagnostic “structural interviewing” regarding symptoms, personality, degree of identity diffusion or integration, and reality testing.

Relational, analytic, and attachment-oriented, Kernberg attends to Alfred in an engaged yet neutral way that gradually allows him to speak with less caution, reveal a desire for connection, and commit to further therapy. Relentless in his commitment to his client, Kernberg graciously offers us a substantial primer on TFP that’s sure to leave you impressed and inspired.

Note: This video is part of a series, Three Approaches to Personality Disorder. The other two titles feature CBT expert Art Freeman and DBT pioneer Marsha Linehan conducting sessions with the same client.

By watching this video, you will:
  • Learn the four principles of TFP’s “structural interview” model.
  • Understand how a TFP therapist assesses for personality disorders and obtains commitment to therapy.
  • Identify elements of TFP style and strategy to use with your own clients.

Length of video: 04:14:48

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream

This DVD plays in

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-364-2

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-365-0

Otto Kernberg, MD is the Director of the Personality Disorder Institute at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division, and Professor of Psychiatry at the Joan and Sandford I. Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University. He is also Training and Supervising Analyst of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and is the Past-President of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He has received numerous awards for his excellence in Psychiatry and has authored or coauthored over twenty books.

See all Otto Kernberg videos.

CE credits: 4

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the four principles of TFP’s “structural interview” model.
  • Understand how a TFP therapist assesses for personality disorders and obtains commitment to therapy.
  • Identify elements of TFP style and strategy to use with your own clients.
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