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Research Couple Finds Novel Use for Archives

Robert L. Spitzer, MD; Janet B. W. Williams, DSW
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(6):632. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790170106017.
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To the Editor.—  We recently had an interesting experience that we would like to share with other readers of the Archives. On Jan 18, one of us (J.B.W.W.) went into labor prior to giving birth. Both of us had attended classes in the Lamaze techniques for natural childbirth. The techniques of minimizing the pain of labor included coach (R.L.S.)—assisted relaxation, various types of breathing, and concentration on a visual focal point in the room, such as a picture.As labor progressed, we tried these techniques but encountered several difficulties. First of all, J.B.W.W. had difficulty sustaining concentration on the picture chosen as the focal point because the stimulus of the picture never varied. Second, R.L.S. had difficulty sustaining the constant repetition of the relaxation litany. As verbal output by R.L.S. decreased and contractions of J.B.W.W. increased, she finally admonished, "Talk to me!" R.L.S. replied: "I don't know what to say."

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