Psychotherapy and psychological time: A case study

Álvaro Quiñones, Francisco Ceric, Carla Ugarte, Adele De Pascale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim. The present study is a comparative case study as part of research on the psychotherapeutic process. This research describes the perception of subjective time in two psychotherapeutic processes, one successful and one unsuccessful. Methods. We studied two psychotherapeutic processes of cognitive orientation, which were video recorded and fully transcribed in each session. First a qualitative analysis was applied for quality coding (Top-down) was performed to identify category types of subjective time, depending on psychological well-being. These were categorized as past, present, and future; each one in positive and negative forms. Secondly, two quantitative statistical analyses were applied: one of content analysis, which allowed us to observe the frequencies for the six categories, and another, a cumulative frequency analysis, which allowed us to identify a differential pattern in the analyzed cases. Results. These data showed different temporal profiles for both cases, differentiated by categories. This finding that would allow us to track the process of subjectivity in terms of specific components associated with psychotherapy success. Discussion and conclusions. We present a mixed method, a qualitative for initial coding of patient speaking turns and a quantitative methodology such as the cumulative frequency analysis in time in a therapeutic context. Those changes are progressive and must be observed as a continuous and dynamic evolution to allow for an interpretation in a naturalistic context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalRivista di Psichiatria
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Case formulation
  • Cognitive psychotherapy
  • Content analysis
  • Effectiveness
  • Perception of time
  • Process research


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