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This volume is aimed at the nonpsychiatric physician. Its purpose is to describe a rationale for conducting psychotherapy in a medical setting. The author advocates the use of a brief (20 minutes) and limited (ten interviews) psychotherapy with the goal of symptom relief. The technique is clearly and simply described. The physician is told to quickly identify a focal conflict existing at a conscious or preconscious level, repeatedly confront the patient with it as it unfolds in his interpersonal relationship, and then help him work it through. The emphasis is always on the present. In the process of exploring the focal conflict, the physician should also point to the patient's strengths, give reassurance, promote ventilation, and offer a direct, honest and warm relationship.
This is no simple task. In the preface the author takes note of the objection that the technique may demand more skill than
Terman DM. The Twenty-Minute Hour.. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(3):286. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730030092016