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The Communication of Affect in Psychotherapy

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(1):102-106. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730190104014.
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THIS STUDY attempts to delineate and interrelate variables relevant to the practice of psychotherapy. This then is a process study, wherein clinical data from psychotherapy sessions is examined in order to ascertain what transpires in the session. Strupp,1,2 Alexander,3 and others have clearly indicated the need for such process work, wherein psychotherapeutic phenomena are delineated by studying the actual therapeutic occurrences.

Two variables were examined in this study: the "occurrence of psychotherapy" and the "communication of affect." Although there exists a sizable literature on the presence and detection of affect in interview material, the literature is void of studies which examine the occurrence of psychotherapy within an interview from a process point of view. The occurrence of psychotherapy seems always to be tied to outcome. It is assumed here that psychotherapy is not necessarily a process which always occurs whenever one person


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