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May 1975

Psychotherapy in Hospitalized Research Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Psychiatric Assessment Section, Adult psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr. Sacks is now with the New York University Medical Center and Veterans Administration hospital, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(5):581-685. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760230064004

Operations at the clinical-research interface exert a signal influence on the therapy of patients being treated on investigative units. The effect on the treatment milieu has been described but the impactof a research climate on individual psychotherapy of hospitalized patients has not.

We observed research-therapy interaction in 25 acutely schizophrenic patients. Analytically oriented psychotherapy was carried outon a National Institutes of Health clinical research unit where drugs are only occasionally used, and patients are subjects in psychobiological investigation.

The subtle, and often neglected, interplay between therapy and research is examined, with emphasis on the shifting meanings of the patient's participation or refusal to participate in therapy, research, or both. A research transference and counter-transference are defined, and some special behavioral patterns of research patients receiving dynamic therapy are considered in this framework.