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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1986 Nov;37(11):1105-14.

A review of supportive psychotherapy.


Although supportive psychotherapy techniques are more widely used than expressive or insight-oriented techniques, particularly with hospitalized or chronically ill patients, supportive treatment strategies have been underrepresented in the literature and not adequately taught to therapists in training. The authors review the diverse definitions and goals of supportive therapy as related to two major types of objectives. They stress the distinction between the supportive relationship, which is present to some extent in all psychotherapy, and supportive treatment, and they examine the inverse relationship between expressive and supportive therapy. Finally, selected elements and techniques of the conduct of supportive therapy, such as style of communication, respect, praise, advice, self-disclosure, and interpretation, are discussed.

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