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February 1966

Verbal Interaction and Levels of Meaning in Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

From the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(2):158-170. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730080046008

ONE OF THE CRUCIAL issues in psychotherapy is the nature of the verbal interaction between the therapist and the patient and its effect on the Psychotherapeutic process. If we accept the proposition that the intervention of the therapist plays an important role in this process, then it is of value to discover and identify the kinds of intervention that are most effective.

Although psychoanalytic theory and practice have provided us with an abundance of significant insights concerning the psychotherapeutic process, there has been relatively little verification of these ideas through the analysis of recorded therapy data.* This study is an attempt to provide such an analysis for some aspects of verbal interaction in psychotherapy.

We are presenting here some results from a study of ten psychotherapy hours. Our research was focused on the several levels of meaning in communications by patients, the therapist's reaction to them,

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