Therapeutic immediacy across long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy: An evidence-based case study

Jason Mayotte-Blum, Jenelle Slavin-Mulford, Meaghan Lehmann, Frank Pesale, Nikaya Becker-Matero, Mark Hilsenroth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


C. E. Hill (2004) recently developed the concept of therapist immediacy to capture discussion by the therapist about the therapeutic relationship that occurs in the here-and-now of a therapy session. This concept has been expanded to include discussion about the therapeutic relationship by both the client and therapist, captured by the term therapeutic immediacy (K. Kuutmann & M. Hilsenroth, 2011). Although prior research has examined the use of therapeutic immediacy across short-term treatment, the present study is the first to examine the use of immediacy across a long-term (4 years) psychotherapy. Also, this is the first study to assess the interrater reliability of therapeutic immediacy, which was found to achieve good to excellent levels across raters. The most frequently used categories of client and therapist immediacy are presented. Finally, the authors provide an in-depth qualitative examination of 5 therapeutic immediacy segments across the treatment judged by the raters to have high levels of depth/ intensity (4.5 or higher out of 5) to examine the role of therapeutic immediacy in exploring meaningful treatment issues. Clinical utility, potential limitations, and future research on therapeutic immediacy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Case study
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Self-disclosure
  • Therapeutic immediacy
  • Transference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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