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Normal adolescence requires a successful resolution of identity crisis, which results in the development of satisfying relationships, success in school/work pursuits, and achievement of personal goals. Adolescents, who do not resolve this crisis, are at high risk for problems in those areas of functioning. Transference Focused Psychotherapy for Adolescents (TFP-A) is a treatment that specifically addresses these issues, permitting adolescents to develop satisfying friendships, more appropriate interactions with authority, and achieve realistic life goals. This study will evaluate the application of TFP-A, (a empirically validated treatment for adults with identity disturbance), to adolescents exhibiting the same behavioral and identity pathology. Subjects will be females; ages 14-21, with behaviors associated with identity problems, interpersonal difficulties with teachers, parents and/or peers, and live with their families. These adolescents will be randomly assigned to one of two treatment cells, TFP-A or Treatment as Usual (TAU). Subjects in TFP-A will receive weekly individual therapy for six months. The TAU group will receive standard individual therapy in the Outpatient Department. Both will receive medication as necessary. All subjects will participate in initial, weekly, and bi-monthly assessments during the six-month treatment period, and participate in a naturalistic follow-up study for an additional six months. Hypothesis: Adolescents with identity problems as seen in interpersonal, school, and/or family difficulties in the Transference Focused Psychotherapy for Adolescents (TFP-A) group will reduce these problem behaviors and improve management of their feelings and moods compared to adolescents with identity problems in the treatment as usual control group (TAU).


Inclusion Criteria: 1. Female Adolescents, ages 14-21 2. A score of five out of nine critical items on the Borderline Personality Disorder Dimension Interview Scale. 3. Have interpersonal difficulties in school, family, and/or peer functioning. 4. Live at home with family. 5. Willingness to attend evaluation sessions and weekly, individual therapy. Exclusion Criteria: 1. The presence of psychosis, substance dependence, non-verbal learning disability, antisocial behavior, and/or primary diagnoses of eating disorder, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 2. The need for hospitalization for symptom management. 3. Significant cognitive impairment (Full Scale IQ <85). 4. The presence of a life-threatening medical illness.

Study is Available At:

Original ID:




Secondary ID:

Study Acronym:


Brief Title:

Application and Evaluation of Transference Focused Psychotherapy Modified for Adolescents

Official Title:

Application and Evaluation of Transference Focused Psychotherapy Modified for Adolescents

Overall Status:


Study Phase:




Minimum Age:

14 Years

Maximum Age:

21 Years

Quick Facts

Healthy Volunteers
Oversight Has DMC
Study Is FDA Regulated
Study Is Section 801
Has Expanded Access

Study Source:

Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Oversight Authority:

United States: Institutional Review Board

Reasons Why Stopped:

Study Type:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification:

Number of Arms:


Number of Groups:


Total Enrollment:


Enrollment Type:


Overall Contact Information

Official Name:Anna E Odom, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Primary Contact:Anna E Odom, Ph.D.
Backup Contact:Pamela A Foelsch, Ph.D.

Study Dates

Start Date:October 2007
Completion Date:December 2009
Completion Type:Anticipated
Primary Completion Date:December 2009
Primary Completion Type:Anticipated
Verification Date:January 2011
Last Changed Date:January 3, 2011
First Received Date:December 11, 2007

Study Outcomes

Outcome Type:Primary Outcome
Measure:Reduction in interpersonal difficulties with parents, teachers, and/or peers. Improved management of their feelings and moods. Reduction in other problems behaviors (i.e. substance use, self-injurious behaviors)
Time Frame:Subjects will be assessed at entry, 2 month, 4 months, 6 months, 8 months 10 months, and 12 months
Safety Issues:True

Study Interventions

Intervention Type:Behavioral
Description:Individual psychotherapy with parent collateral/psychoeducation as necessary.
Arm Name:TFP-A
Other Name:TFP-A
Intervention Type:Behavioral
Name:Individual Psychotherapy
Description:Individual psychotherapy and family interventions (as needed)
Arm Name:Control

Study Arms

Study Arm Type:Experimental
Arm Name:TFP-A
Description:Specific aspects of TFP-A involve the setting up of a treatment contract/collaboration between patient and therapist to deal with the likely threats both to the treatment and to the patient's well being that may occur in the course of the treatment. After the behavioral symptoms of identity pathology are contained through structure and limit setting, the psychological structure that is believed to be the core of identity pathology are analyzed. In particular, treatment would involve the family i
Study Arm Type:Active Comparator
Arm Name:Control
Description:The Control Group is treatment as usual in the outpatient clinic. Treatment in this arm will be carried out by therapists in the Outpatient Department. Treatment will be determined by the therapist(s) and carried out according to their particular orientation and their assessment of patient's needs. It is expected based on clinic data that the majority of patients will be seen at least one time per week.

Study Agencies

Agency Class:Other
Agency Type:Lead Sponsor
Agency Name:Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Sample and Retention Information

There are no available Sample and Retention Information

Study References

Reference Type:Reference
Citation:Clarkin JF, Foelsch PA, Levy KN, Hull JW, Delaney JC, Kernberg OF. The development of a psychodynamic treatment for patients with borderline personality disorder: a preliminary study of behavioral change. J Personal Disord. 2001 Dec;15(6):487-95.
Reference Type:Reference
Citation:Clarkin JF, Levy KN, Lenzenweger MF, Kernberg OF. Evaluating three treatments for borderline personality disorder: a multiwave study. Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Jun;164(6):922-8.
Reference Type:Reference
Citation:Clarkin JF, Levy KN, Lenzenweger MF, Kernberg OF. The Personality Disorders Institute/Borderline Personality Disorder Research Foundation randomized control trial for borderline personality disorder: rationale, methods, and patient characteristics. J Personal Disord. 2004 Feb;18(1):52-72.

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: October 09, 2019

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