Next Article in Journal
Influences of Built Environment with Hilly Terrain on Physical Activity in Dalian, China: An Analysis of Mediation by Perceptions and Moderation by Social Environment
Previous Article in Journal
Distributional Environmental Injustices for a Minority Group without Minority Status: Arab Americans and Residential Exposure to Carcinogenic Air Pollution in the US
Previous Article in Special Issue
Capturing the Unconscious—The “Psychoanalytic Core Competency Q-Sort”. An Innovative Tool Investigating Psychodynamic Therapeutic Skills
Open AccessArticle

Interpretation and Working through Contemptuous Facial Micro-Expressions Benefits the Patient-Therapist Relationship

1
Department of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada
3
Teaching Center, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4901; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244901
Received: 27 October 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ingredients for a Sustainable Wholesome Network in Mental Health)
Introduction: The significance of psychotherapeutic micro-processes, such as nonverbal facial expressions and relationship quality, is widely known, yet hitherto has not been investigated satisfactorily. In this exploratory study, we aim to examine the occurrence of micro-processes during psychotherapeutic treatment sessions, specifically facial micro-expressions, in order to shed light on their impact on psychotherapeutic interactions and patient-clinician relationships. Methods: In analyzing 22 video recordings of psychiatric interviews in a routine/acute psychiatric care unit of Vienna General Hospital, we were able to investigate clinicians’ and patients’ facial micro-expressions in conjunction with verbal interactions and types. To this end, we employed the Emotion Facial Action Coding System (EmFACS)—assessing the action units and microexpressions—and the Psychodynamic Intervention List (PIL). Also, the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI), assessed after each session by both patients and clinicians, provided information on the subjective quality of the clinician–patient relationship. Results: We found that interpretative/confrontative interventions are associated with displays of contempt from both therapists and patients. Interestingly, displays of contempt also correlated with higher WAI scores. We propose that these seemingly contradictory results may be a consequence of the complexity of affects and the interplay of primary and secondary emotions with intervention type. Conclusion: Interpretation, confrontation, and working through contemptuous microexpressions are major elements to the adequate control major pathoplastic elements. Affect-cognitive interplay is an important mediator in the working alliance. View Full-Text
Keywords: affective interplay; working alliance; doctor-patient-relationship; micro-expressions; interpretation and confrontation affective interplay; working alliance; doctor-patient-relationship; micro-expressions; interpretation and confrontation
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Datz, F.; Wong, G.; Löffler-Stastka, H. Interpretation and Working through Contemptuous Facial Micro-Expressions Benefits the Patient-Therapist Relationship. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4901.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop