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J Clin Psychol. 2003 Apr;59(4):513-24.

Therapist use of silence in therapy: a survey.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, 20742, USA.


Eighty-one therapists responded to a mailed survey about their use of silence during a specific event in therapy and about their general attitudes about using silence in therapy. For the specific event, therapists used silence primarily to facilitate reflection, encourage responsibility, facilitate expression of feelings, not interrupt session flow, and convey empathy. During silence, therapists observed the client, thought about the therapy, and conveyed interest. In general, therapists indicated that they would use silence with clients who were actively problem solving, but they would not use silence with very disturbed clients. Therapists learned about using silence mostly through clinical experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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