Relational Methods and Theories of Intersubjectivity

Jose Manuel Martinez Rodriguez


The set of relational methods outlined by Integrative Psychotherapy provide a comprehensive guide for intersubjective treatment. Research in child development has stressed the importance of intersubjectivity for the establishment of healthy reciprocal relationships. Several models of psychotherapy have adopted an intersubjective approach to address relational problems. The relational methods of Integrative Psychotherapy put into practice many insights emanating from research regarding the origins of intersubjectivity in child development. This article focuses on Meltzoff, Moore, Threvarthen, Stern and Rizzolatti´s theories about intersubjectivity and their relationship to the relational methods of Integrative Psychotherapy. Meltzoff and Moore´s studies of the development of intersubjectivity in childhood can be related to psychotherapeutic interventions at a clinical level based on the presence of an involved other. Threvarthen and Rizolatti´s research supports the need to resonate with other’s experience through self-experience, and Stern´s theories are related to the inquiry about the other´s mind. Such interventions contribute to building an intersubjective format in individual psychotherapy and may prove useful in helping people with early relational failures and the subsequent disruptions to the development of healthy intersubjective aspects of relationships.


Integrative Psychotherapy; intersubjectivity; relational psychotherapy; inquiry; attunement; involvement; individual psychotherapy

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