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July 1959

Direct Instigation of Behavioral Changes in Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

Charlottesville, Va.
From the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Virginia School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(1):99-107. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590010115013

Introduction  In recent years a number of articles1,2 have challenged claims that any particular type of psychotherapy offers patients with psychoneuroses a better chance for recovery than other therapies or even none at all. In studies comparing treated and untreated groups of patients or groups treated by different techniques, the groups compared often do not match as satisfactorily as we could wish.3 Nevertheless, we know that many patients with psychoneuroses recover from these illnesses either entirely without treatment4,5 or with very little psychotherapy.6,7 This raises the question of whether the processes of recovery are the same in patients receiving psychotherapy and in those not receiving it. And when a patient does receive psychotherapy, can he benefit as much from his experiences with other persons as he does from his experiences with his therapist?Some years ago I began to notice that patients often improved

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