Operationalised Psychodynamic Diagnosis OPD-2. Efficient instruments to measure the conflict axis in coaching.

Operationalised psychodynamic diagnosis (OPD-2) is an established tool in psychodynamic psychotherapy. However, large parts of the OPD can also be utilised very effectively in psychodynamic coaching. But the extensive verbal descriptions used for the diagnosis of the conflicts, which, more importantly, are distributed between the main part and the appendices in the OPD, would prevent broad uptake among coaches. To measure the conflict axis more efficiently we suggest two instruments here: A test with 196 items that the coaching client could fill out as a self-description. Similarly, the criteria for countertransference and scenic information have been encapsulated in an inventory of countertransference that would be filled out by the coach. Our inventory of countertransference and scenic information contains 84 items. The further operationalisation of Axis III that is suggested here would have the following benefits that could also potentially lead to an improvement for the clinical diagnosis:

  • Specific items allow less scope for interpretation than verbal templates. This approach could therefore improve interrater reliability.
  • The evaluations of the self-description by the client and the inventory of countertransference by the coach represents a less error-prone way of determining the conflicts and modes through the calculation of points.
  • Differences in the conscious self-description by the client and the countertransference by the coach provide further diagnostic information and can be directly addressed in conversation with the client.
  • The evaluation of the self-description by area of life provides an additional statement about the severity of the conflict situation for each one. Although the OPD introduces the concept of the areas of life, it does not yet offer any evaluation in accordance with these categories.
  • If there were a sufficient number of cases in which self-description and inventory of countertransference were applied, the questionnaires could be turned into psychometric tests that would be ideal as a basis for research into personality, conflict and motivation.

​Trainee clinical psychoanalysts, in particular, are warned not to apply the aforementioned simplifications to their patients without agreeing this in advance with their institution. There may not be sufficient justification to use such a simplification in the responsible handling of mental disorders. Nevertheless, the intention is very much to encourage a fruitful discussion between psychodynamic coaches and clinical psychoanalysts about the operationalisation of psychodynamic work. 

The self-description and inventory of countertransference presented here, including the automated evaluation, are available here in an open-access Excel format. Please use the following contact form. It is a polite request, but not a condition, that coaches send back Excel sheets with client data in anonymised form so that a large database can be populated with comparative values. It would be particularly advantageous if a number of coaches formed a user group that could share their experiences and work together to improve the tools. This would enable psychodynamic coaching to be further professionalised in a similar way to clinical psychoanalysis. Publication with further explanation in preparation.


Mind Institute SE - Conflikt-Screening based on OPD-2
Please use the following contact form to contact us for a free conflict screening in Excel.

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