A good deal of criticism has been leveled at speculations about the relationship between a schizophrenic’s symptoms and his life experience, past or present, particularly when these speculations are made on the basis of intensive psychotherapy of a single patient. Before the intensive study of the families of schizophrenic patients was begun, relatively few years ago, only the patient’s statements and the hunches of the therapist were available as data, because it was not considered proper for the therapist to see the family and the hospital was usually happier when they did not come around.
However, we now have available three sorts of data about the family that can be directly studied in relation to the patient’s current symptomatic behavior, and which may or may not eventually be related to the etiology of schizophrenia.
1. Psychological, sociological, and anthropological information about families. The standard psychological tests,