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J Clin Psychol. 1993 May;49(3):397-406.

Dependency and patienthood.

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Department of Psychology, Gettysburg College, PA 17325.


A review of laboratory and clinical studies of dependency reveals that a dependent personality orientation is associated with several traits that are likely to influence psychotherapy process and outcome (i.e., compliance with rules and authorities, sensitivity to interpersonal cues, and desire for help and support from others). Because empirical studies of dependency have produced highly consistent findings, strong conclusions may be drawn from the converging results of these investigations. After a review of the clinical and experimental literature on dependency, the implications of patient dependency for several areas of patient-related behaviors (i.e., willingness to seek treatment, behavior during psychotherapy, and the dynamics of treatment termination) are discussed.

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