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June 1968

Influencing Techniques of Chronic Schizophrenics

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(6):681-688. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740060041005

FOR SOME TIME now we have been actively engaged in a number of clinical studies, exploring the use of novel Psychosocial techniques for the modification of behavior in chronic schizophrenic patients. It is the latest of these studies, pertaining to "forced responsibility" in small groups of patients, which will be the focus of this present report. As a result of this investigation, we have come to learn a great deal about a previously untapped and neglected dimension of chronic schizophrenic behavior—namely, the techniques and strategies patients themselves employ to influence, control, and manipulate one another.

In previous work with chronic schizophrenics, we were struck by the presence of a number of characteristic attitudes and behaviors preventing effective therapeutic intervention.1-3 A common denominator to all these characteristics involved both the reluctance of patients to assume responsibility for their own actions and