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April 1965

Nonverbal Cues and Transference

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(4):391-394. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720340063009

PROBABLY THE most important factor in any form of psychotherapy is the relationship between the patient and his therapist. The interaction of transference and countertransference, based upon the personalities and unconscious neurotic conflicts of both the patient and his doctor, has been the subject of many works. However, a vast area of the patient-doctor relationship has been virtually ignored, that of the patient's reactions to the reality of the doctor.1

Ordinarily the psychiatrist does not speak to the patient about himself, his personal life, or his feelings.2,3 This encourages the patient to construct an image of his doctor, a person he does not really know, based largely on the patient's own experiences and conflicts with other people in his past life. But in the construction of that image the patient also uses those tiny bits of the reality of the therapist that are in-