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September 1970

The Need for Intervention: A Variable in Psychotherapy Research

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(3):284-287. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750030092013

I SHALL explore here one facet of the therapeutic relationship and its implications for psychotherapy research: the degree to which the therapist responds appropriately and adequately to the patient's valid, realistic need for intervention.

Theoretical Considerations  A significant component of the patient's total needs, as manifested in therapy, may be assumed to be exaggerated and infantile. Nevertheless, his needs for clarification, timely interpretation, and empathetic understanding are legitimate. To the degree that these are inadequately met, a disappointed or angry reaction on the part of the patient rests on realistic grounds and should not be dismissed as negative transference.Cohen and Cohen1 found a high percentage of negative responses to the therapist's questions (60%) and comments (67%). Patients' important communications frequently remained unacknowledged and legitimate questions unanswered. One patient had already, by the ninth hour, begun to dislike herself. The authors allude to the valid need for information, clarification,

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