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January 1956

Studies in Pharmacological Psychotherapy1. Treatment of Refractory Psychoneuroses and Personality Disorders with Thiopental (Pentothal) Sodium and Methamphetamine (Desoxyn)

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;75(1):95-105. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330190111015

This paper concerns the use of pharmacological psychotherapy with 16 moderately to severely disturbed patients, all of whom had previously undergone psychoanalysis over periods ranging from six months to three years. All these prior efforts at therapy had involved professionally qualified psychoanalysts; all had terminated unsuccessfully.

FAILURE OF PSYCHOANALYSIS  As a point of departure, we tried to determine what these patients believed to be the causes of their earlier failure to respond favorably to psychoanalysis. The feelings on this score were somewhat uniform. Commenting on their unsuccessful psychoanalyses, these patients reported, with varying emphasis from person to person, (1) an inability to communicate effectively, (2) an impersonal attitude on the part of the psychoanalyst, (3) difficulties in relating to the psychoanalyst, (4) failure to experience meaningful emotional reactions during the therapeutic hour, (5) mounting anxiety as treatment progressed, and (6) exacerbation of symptoms after an initial period of slight relief.