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November 1949

ANXIETY: Its Initiation, Communication and Interpersonal Management

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Psychiatry, University of California Medical School, and the Langley Porter Clinic.

Arch NeurPsych. 1949;62(5):527-550. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1949.02310170002001

THESE were the utterances of a patient as he broke out in sweat and clenched his fists. Simultaneously the therapist felt uneasy. Ninety per cent of all witnesses listening to the recording of this interview similarly felt uneasy.

The events underlying this and other related accounts were made the subject of a study bearing on the observation that anxiety is infectious, transmission proceeds at a rapid speed and a person's sensitivity to the anxiousness of other people is great. Experiments and observations were utilized in an attempt to reach a better understanding of the problems of communication, with special reference to the anxiety existing within the therapeutic situation.

SUMMARY OF THE CONCEPT OF ANXIETY  Reaction to danger is described in terms of anger, fear or anxiety.1 The reaction to a danger cue, which Freud1b described as "real anxiety," is a warning mechanism which informs the person of an

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