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July 1961

Nonmedical Psychotherapists: Influences of the Changing Pattern of Psychiatry

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(1):7-11. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710130009002

During the past 10 years there have been growing concern and discussion around the question of who should do psychotherapy and under what conditions.1-5 The intensification of this controversy goes hand-in-hand with increase in the numbers of those nonmedical people actually engaged in psychotherapy, either privately or in an institutional setting or both. Most authors, assuming that therapists in an institution are adequately supervised, center their attention on those psychologists, social workers, and even nurses who conduct private or largely independent practices.

The American Psychiatric Association has taken an official position that psychotherapy is a form of medical treatment, and that psychologists who treat mental patients should be supervised by psychiatrists.6 The publication of this policy has stimulated some protest.

Arguments for and against nonmedical psychotherapy can be grouped according to whether the focus rests on the process, the person conducting it, or

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