This article is a version of an oral presentation delivered on 22/09/2016 as part of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation entitled “Interactions between neurotic symptoms and interpersonal dynamics throughout psychodynamic psychotherapy: Four empirical case studies” (2012-2016, Department of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Consulting of Ghent University, funded by the Special Research Fund). It provides an overview of the doctoral project, including research design, methodology, analytic approach, main findings and concludes with plausible interpretations within a structural, psychodynamic framework. Starting from the key concept of symptom specificity in theoretical and clinical work, inconsistent findings from previous studies were related to a number of conceptual and methodological issues. Subsequently, an alternative research design was introduced: throughout four empirical (multiple source – multiple method) single case studies (two based on hysterical symptoms and two on obsessional complaints), a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies were employed within the data-analytic framework of Consensual Qualitative Research for Case Studies (CQR-c). Significant similarities and differences across the main findings from the four studies were critically analysed, and discussed in the light of structural psychodiagnostics and psychodynamic practice.
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