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September 1955

The Therapist's Personality in the Therapy of Schizophrenics

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(3):292-299. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330150058008

As our knowledge of psychotherapy with schizophrenics increases, it becomes more apparent that the attitude and reactions of the therapist are of much greater importance in the treatment situation than is the case with neurotics. It seemed to me important to outline the kinds of difficulties therapists are apt to encounter in doing intensive psychotherapy with psychotics, and, if possible, to determine what attitudes in the therapist are most likely to engender or foster technical problems in therapy. It is important to stress that this is an impressionistic and biased account of the problem.

Most therapists who work with schizophrenics seem to experience intense anxiety at times. If the therapist can accept this and can understand its origin, he may not be too threatened when his uneasiness is apparent to the patient, his colleagues, or other staff members. If it is recognized that one can be an adequate therapist without

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