Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Lissa Weinstein

Committee Members

Steven Tuber

Diana Diamond

Diana Punales

Benjamin Harris

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Counseling | Counseling Psychology | Other Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts | Theory and Philosophy


transference, LIWC, pronouns, textual analysis, self-reference, process research


There is a gap in our understanding of transference resolution as an aspect of therapeutic process and its relation to observable changes in language. My hypotheses can contribute to this area by identifying whether there are detectible changes in pronoun use in a psychoanalysis that are related to the resolution of transference. Data: The de-identified transcripts of a young agoraphobic housewife in a four time a week then two time a week psychoanalysis from the 1970s. Method: The Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software will be used to measure structural changes in language that may reflect intrapsychic changes in the speech patterns of a psychoanalytic patient. First, I will attempt to measure if there are changes in the patient’s flexible use of language. I will next verify that the patient’s self-reference as measured by pronoun use changes. Then other linguistic behavior associated with pronoun change will be identified. Finally, I will qualitatively explore if there is a relationship between proposed language change and transference. Findings: Self-reference in terms of LIWC “I” use showed major change from High I use in the first half of the analysis when compared to the second half. LIWC language categories found to be associated with High I sessions were high affect, high “you,” high negation, high present and future tense, high verbs, and low “we,” low conjunctions, and low prepositions. Low I sessions tended to have high “we” scores, high “they” scores, high conjunctions, and low “you” scores, and low negation scores. When compared, the major differences between High I and Low I sessions was found in the difference in pronoun use, where Low I sessions tended to be high “we/they” sessions and High I sessions tended to be high “you” sessions. For the qualitative analysis, sessions with High “I/you” scores tended to be interpreted as transference by the analyst, while high “we/they” scores tended to be interpreted by the analyst or patient as identification.

Key Words: psychoanalysis, transference, LIWC, pronouns, functions words, self-reference, textual analysis, therapy process research