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December 1960

Stages of Breakdown in the Relationships and Dynamics Between the Mental Patient and His Family

Author Affiliations

Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(6):682-690. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710060114016

Introduction  There is always present a need in developing fields of scientific interests such as social psychiatry for new areas of observation. These areas offer fertile grounds for testing prevailing hypotheses and suggesting new ones. One such area is the interactions of the mental patient and his family, especially as those interactions become increasingly maladaptive and systematized. Such familial systems are quite similar to other social groups in their intrapersonal and interpersonal operations.1,9,15,26 Observation indicates that families in which there is a mental illness seem particularly prone to becoming progressively restricted in their interactions, as well as the goals and the range of problems and solutions available to members.The present paper presents a model of such operations and the sequence of behaviors and their interrelatedness to which the mental patient and his family seem so prone. Also presented are the consequences

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