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December 1974

Stress Response Syndromes: Character Style and Dynamic Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;31(6):768-781. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760180012002

Clinicians have gained considerable knowledge about psychopathology and treatment but this knowledge is poorly systematized and hard to transmit. One way to organize clinical knowledge is to circumscribe a limited area and describe within it the interactions between personality dispositions, states of disorder, and treatment techniques.

This report models such an approach by limiting disorder to stress response syndromes, personality to obsessional and hysterical neurotic styles, and treatment to focal dynamic psychotherapy. Within this domain, an information processing approach to working through conflicted ideas and feeling is developed. The result is a series of assertions about observable behavior and nuances of technique. Since these assertions are localized conceptually, they can be checked, revised, refuted, compared, or extended into other disorders, dispositions, and treatments.

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