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May 1961

The Family in Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(5):445-451. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710110015002

The territory covered by psychotherapy research has long been a soft and yielding morass and to date it shows no signs of becoming a steady, comfortable place to stand. Under these conditions the practitioner and researcher, to avoid the threat of slowly sinking into oblivion, must constantly keep moving. Under the banner of research trends, I shall report some of these movements in the area which has come to be designated as family therapy.

Although the significance of family members in stimulating and maintaining a broad range of pathological states in psychiatric patients has often been cited, such observations appear to have produced but minor additional insights. This position is eloquently summarized by Spiegel and Bell, who wrote: "Up to the present time the area of the psychiatric patient and his family has shown more promise and less achievement than almost any other

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