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July 1966

Aspects of the Treatment of Character Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Institute of Living, Hartford, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(1):22-28. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730130024004

THE PRACTICE of psychiatry has, like the medical field as a whole, developed methods of treatment which are often empirical, sometimes based on a rational theory of causation. Electroshock, insulin coma, and medication have, at one time or another, played a significant role in the therapy of psychoses and neuroses. Psychotherapy, psychoanalytic, and other, have enabled the therapist to provide valuable assistance in the treatment of psychoneuroses and paychoses. Psychotherapy is based on a comprehensive theory which provides a frame of reference within which the therapist can operate, a model which enables him to visualize the conflicting aspects of the personality structure.

In the group of conditions categorized as character disorders, the therapeutic effectiveness of any of the treatment procedures, useful elsewhere, is woefully low, and few claim to have effected fundamental change in this type of patient. There are specific differences between

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