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April 1967

Teaching the Basic Skills of Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(4):416-426. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730220028005

PSYCHOTHERAPY is a special kind of experience in which two people communicate with each other in a special way. It is a two-way communication designed to help one of them understand himself better and so be able to modify his behavior and achieve better comfort and health. The skills required to accomplish this goal belong to the skills of interpersonal communication. Fromm-Reichmann, in her book, the Principles of Intensive Psythotherapy,1 has emphasized this philosophy of psychotherapy as a "clarification of the patient's difficulties with his fellowmen through observation and investigation of the vicissitudes of the mutual inter-relationship between doctor and patient."

This statement stresses two important principles of psychotherapy which differentiate it from other therapeutic methods such as those depending primarily on drugs, shock, or environmental manipulation. The first emphasizes the therapeutic objective of self-understanding. It is based on the assumption that if

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