January 1968

Aims and Conduct of Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn
From the School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(1):1-6. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740010003001

MANY THERAPISTS are too ambitious. They cherish an exaggerated ideal of personality structure and function and deplore anything less than perfect. They think that people are either clean or dirty, and that their job as therapist is to clean out the stables. From this point of view any kind of symptom formation is "bad," ie, it is morally unsanctioned and unsanctionable and must be rooted out, as the theologian believes in rooting out evil.

It is from this position that psychiatrists may condemn many kinds of behavior as "immature," ``unadult,'' or "irresponsible," and fall into the trap of ruling out all forms of spontaneity, as well as spontaneous excesses, and all manner and shape of capriciousness, wilfulness, arbitrariness, self-indulgence, or posturing; eccentric stylization, or eccentricity in general; excesses in the uses of love, power, food, or drink; unconventionalisms, radicalisms, or unexpected or

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