Issue 2 – April 2011


Gábor Szőnyi


Questions of practice

Ágnes Hódi: The „creation” of somatic illness in psychotherapy with chronically sick children

Research study

Enikő Albert-Lőrincz, Gábor Szőnyi: Career image in psychotherapy I: utilisation of training

Theoretical study

Katalin Varga: Possible explanation of metaphors in re-interpreting negative life events: our experiences with the critically ill

Case study

Tamás Halmai: Psychosis, homicide – and the taboo. Therapeutic attempt with young psychotic offenders




On the Journal “Gyermek- és serdülőpszichoterápia” (“Journal for Child- and Adolescent Psychotherapy”) – Vera Kökény


To the 20th volume of This Journal – Emőke Bagdy

Letter to the reader – Gábor Szőnyi

News and reports

Conferences – Preliminary to the 7th Conference of this Journal

Report on the Meeting of the Psychotherapy Council – Tamás Bagotai

Book reviews

Béla Buda ¨ Zsuzsanna Mirnics ¨ József Varga

Lists of professional books

Animula ¨ Medicina ¨ MentalPort ¨ Oriold és Tsai ¨ Szt István ¨ Ursus libris

Submissions for the journal’s art competition II.

Professional programs



Questions of practice

Ágnes Hódi:The „creation” of somatic illness in psychotherapy with chronically sick children

In this paper, through describing the process of psychotherapy with two children, I would like to illustrate the journey these young patients undertook from an intellectual „understanding” of their disease to being able to establish a „relationship” with their illness. In therapy this relationship was built up through bringing to life various small fragments of their understanding of their disease and through acceptance of regressive modes of expressions until it became possible to help these children establish progressively more mature modes of expressions in order to support their sublimation processes. Unreflected emotions and defenselessness presented in therapy as internal and external hurt. Through jointly „creating” the illness in therapy (drawing, playing, verbal expression and transference relationship) these emotions could become dominant as also could, to some extent, uncontrollable physical processes. At the same time it became possible to deepen the level of therapeutic work and to work through those intrapsychic conflicts that served as background to psychogenic symptoms.

My essay is informed by some of the ideas expressed in Lívia Nemes’s article ‘On the border of psyche and soma’ and it is recommended to her memory.

Keywords: body – meaning – regression – sublimation – mentalisation


Research study

Enikő Albert-Lőrincz, Gábor Szőnyi:Career image in psychotherapy I: utilisation of training

In our study we present results of a survey on career image initiated by the journal Pszichoterápia (MentalPort ltd.). The survey is a first step of a more complex investigation to explore the career image of psychotherapists and counsellors. Our objective is to get a picture about the rhythm of training; how and what gets utilized in practice from the different training levels offered by the mode specific associations. We publish the findings in two parts. The first part focuses on how the trainings are accomplished, and the obtained methods are applied. We try to identify the factors that may hinder the utilisation of training. Then we follow what will be applied in practice, depending on the field of practice, methods and forms of therapy. The second part will investigate the effectiveness of training modules and difficulties of professional learning built on the assessments of trainees.

Key words: Career image in psychotherapy – training utilisation – training levels – therapy practice

Theoretical study

Katalin Varga:Possible explanation of metaphors in re-interpreting negative life events: our experiences with the critically ill


Metaphors are used in a wide variety of medical conditions and treatments, during hypnosis or suggestive communication.  The effectiveness of metaphors is especially striking in cases of re-interpreting negative (traumatic) life events, creating a more optimistic, positive attitude in the patient/ victim.

In this paper a possible explanation of the effectiveness of metaphors in these difficult life-events is presented. In cases of the critically ill the increased suggestibility due to the spontaneous trance state makes it possible to apply suggestive techniques even without formal hypnosis.

The analysis of some metaphors used with critically ill patients shows that the central mechanism of “cross domain mapping” helps us to understand how we can re-interpret the actual situation by metaphorically referring  to a successfull, positive life event of the patient. This way the patients’  motivation for recovery can also be increased.

Some further factors can be considered as possible explanations of  the usefulness of metaphors in therapy: many readings, open-endedness, required mental activity, compact way of representation, difficulty of denial, stressing the importance of the topic.

To find a „good” metaphor for the given patient might help the health professional as well to strenghthen his/her own optimistic attitude.

Keywords: communication – metaphor – suggestions – critically ill – cross domain mapping

Case study

Tamás Halmai:Psychosis, homicide – and the taboo

Therapeutic attempt with young psychotic offenders

The co-morbidity of psychotic illness and violent crime raises a number of psychological and legal questions. According to the latest relevant literature, factors associated with committing such a crime, namely substance abuse, prior psychiatric record and lacking compliance, are similarly present in both psychotic and non-psychotic offenders. Psychotic crime offenders are subject to involuntary treatment, in which restrictive and curative aspects necessarily intertwine. Within the framework of involuntary treatment, we had 8 violent crime offenders participate in small group psychotherapy. We sought to integrate elements of psychotherapy and training with the intention of promoting the functioning of the group members following their discharge. Experience shows that special attention shall be paid to the voluntary nature of the therapy as well as the possibility of dissimulation; nevertheless, therapeutic motivation may be raised and maintained. The sensitive subject of self-knowledge was approached in a rather symbolic and playful fashion as well as those of emotional expression, communication and, last but not least, the cognitive disturbances and deficits characteristic of the illness. Violent crime itself became a major subject of discussion. The application of the game Taboo that has been popular among healthy population, we raise questions concerning taboo and stigmatization, topics that are pivotal for our group members. In the explanation of the great success of this game, we hypothesize a symbolic and temporary resolution of the problem.

Keywords: psychosis – homicide – group therapy – taboo


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