January 1955


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University, School of Medicine.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(1):15-20. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110031004

IN PATHOLOGICAL human behavior the action is not the conflict itself but is a token overdetermined compromise expressed in an attempt to attain relief from difficulties causing undue anxiety. To understand the psychic disturbance is to go beyond the deviant behavior itself and to evaluate this through all the channels of communication available, providing information concerning the genetic and dynamic forces affecting the total personality.

In the patient-physician relationship, communication is a basic process in which the patient endeavors to convey his problems to the physician, who, in turn, attempts to understand them and make them more meaningful to the patient. The pathological behavior which is expressed by the patient to the therapist is an effort on the part of the patient to relate his problems and the unworkable way in which he has tried to solve them. This process of communication, which consists of the spoken word, signs, and

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