Austerity and precarity: The social milieu creeps into the psychotherapeutic context

Sofia Triliva, Anastasia Georga


The focus of this study is on psychologists’ accounts of how their psychotherapy work has been impacted by the socioeconomic crises that have had unprecedented effects in health care services and people’s lives in Greece. Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with psychologists in Community Mental Health Centers in Athens and Crete aiming to obtain nuanced and in-depth reflections on psychotherapeutic practice in the midst of socioeconomic hardships. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the experiential accounts of the participants and to generate interpretative consensus of the transcripts. Three overriding and interconnected themes were derived: 1) Austerity: “Poverty, tragic circumstances and deficiency, are creeping into the therapy sessions”; 2) Empathizing or identifying with versus solidarity; and, 3) psychotherapy and precarity. Discussion focuses on the antithetical aspects of the psychologists’ reflections and the social versus the intrapsychic interpretations that they apply in discussing their psychotherapeutic work.


austerity, precarity, psychotherapy, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363