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No. 2 (2023)

Trajectories of support intervention in clinical psychology

ottobre 17, 2023


The present paper aims to discuss the request of the National Council of Italian Psychologists for a definition of the typical acts of psychologists in the clinical field by commenting on the work of Castelnuovo et al. (2023). In particular, we aim to contribute to the current debate by addressing primarily supportive interventions in the clinical setting, focusing on: (1) defining the supportive intervention among the typical acts of the psychologist; (2) adopting a methodological criterion to distinguish between supportive intervention as a psychological-clinical act and psychotherapeutic intervention; and (3) articulating of the discourse in relation to the adoption of narrative methods in clinical intervention. In particular, in this work we argue that supportive interventions are adopted in critical situations, where dysregulation of psychological functioning processes is assumed, and they use the narrative device by promoting a connection between mental states and an articulation of affects in shared meanings. Instead, psychotherapeutic interventions are adopted in conditions of distress and/or psychopathology and use the narrative device in light of an inverse trajectory of sense, that leads from behaviors and representations to the understanding and transformation of the affective matrix of experience. Thus, supportive intervention may be defined as a process in which the clinical relationship serves as scaffolding for psychic functions in the direction of their development and integration.


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