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June 1972

Psychodynamic Behavior Therapy: II. Clinical Aspects

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC
From the Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Dr. Feather is currently at Brown University and Butler Hospital, Providence, RI.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;26(6):503-511. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750240015003

Psychodynamic behavior therapy makes use of two sets of theories generally believed mutually exclusive—psychoanalytic theory and behavior therapy. The application of psychoanalytic theory to behavior therapy is shown to be successful in treating certain phobias, obsessions, and compulsions. This therapy is based largely on the precept that phobias may be organized around drives and impulses as well as external stimuli. The phobias and their related obsessions and compulsions presented here are symptomatic of the patients' attempts to inhibit impulses that were unacceptable to them. It is suggested that the patients resolved their conflicts through gaining the ability to make differentiations between the reality of their actions and the fantasy of their impulses. The implications of this therapy in treating phobias, compulsions, and obsessions may provide valuable insight into its use in treating other behavior disorders.