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January 1975

Psychodynamic Changes in Untreated Neurotic PatientsII. Apparently Genuine Improvements

Author Affiliations

From the Adult Department, Tavistock Clinic, London.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(1):110-126. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760190112013

This work is part of a study of 45 neurotic patients who were seen for consultation at the Tavistock Clinic but who never received treatment, and who, by the time they were asked to come for follow-up, had never been interviewed by a psychiatrist more than twice in their whole lives. In a previous report, we described 13 patients who were at least "improved" on purely symptomatic criteria but whom we did not regard as improved on dynamic criteria.

Here, we describe 11 patients who were judged to be improved on dynamic criteria. These patients are of extraordinary interest, providing not only direct evidence of therapeutic mechanisms in everyday life—an answer to a question posed by Strupp and Bergin in 1969—but also, quite unexpectedly, evidence about the therapeutic effects of single interviews.