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July 1969

Ego Axis in Psychopathology

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois, and the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(1):15-24. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740190017002

ATTEMPTS to solve the problem faced by the psychotherapist in differentiating and comprehending the enormous range of psychopathologic phenomena with which he must be conversant has led to a number of classifications of the psychotherapies.1-8 This study will demonstrate that an orderly and rational organization of the entire range of psychopathological phenomena is possible given the current state of theoretical understanding. A diagrammatic schema is suggested in order to conceptualize more usefully the varieties of psychological illness which must be differentiated from one another so as to prescribe the most potentially efficacious treatment and the most reasonable goal.

Before examining in detail the proposed organization, a description of its evolution may prove useful. One of the most technically difficult and emotionally charged problems encountered in the training of psychiatric residents in a psychotherapeutically oriented setting is the differentiation between "psychoanalysis" and "supportive psychotherapy."

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