Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Supportive Psychotherapy the Search for Positive Meanings

  • Jeremy Holmes (a1)

Abstract

Background

The attempt to define psychotherapeutic skills appropriate for psychiatrists has aroused an interest in supportive psychotherapy, a previously undervalued and underdeveloped member of the psychotherapeutic family. This has been coupled with an increasing recognition of the importance of support within formal psychotherapies, especially when working with highly disturbed patients.

Method

A review of supportive psychotherapy (ST) was performed, based on a Medline literature search.

Results

It is argued that, from the perspective of attachment theory, support is an integral part of all psychotherapies. ST is also a specific mode of treatment suitable for some patients suffering from psychotic illnesses and borderline personality disorder. ST is an eclectic treatment drawing on many theoretical approaches. A common theme based on a narrative co-constructionist perspective, the search for positive meaning, is identified.

Conclusions

Supportive psychotherapy is an essential component of good psychiatric practice. Further research is needed to define its benefits and limitations.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Alvarez, A. (1992) Live Company. London: Routledge.
Andrews, G. (1993) The essential psychotherapies. British Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 447451.
Appelbaum, A. (1989) Supportive therapy: a developmental view. Supportive Psychotherapy: A Development Approach (ed. Rockland, L.). New York: Basic Books.
Balint, E. (1993) Before I was I. London: Free Association Books.
Balint, M. (1959) Thrills and Regressions. London: Hogarth.
Bateman, A. & Holmes, J. (1995) Introduction to Psychoanalysis: Contemporary Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.
Bloch, S. (1995) Supportive psychotherapy. In Introduction to the Psychotherapies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bowlby, J. (1988) A Secure Base. London: Routledge.
Conte, H. (1994) Review of research in supportive psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 48, 494504.
Crown, S. (1988) Supportive psychotherapy: a contradiction in terms? British Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 266269.
Dewald, P. (1994) Principles of supportive psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 48, 505518.
Ferenczi, A. (1955) Further Contributions to the Theory and Technique of Psychoanalysis (ed. Balint, M.) London: Hogarth.
Freud, S. (1912) The dynamics of transference. Standard Edition 12. London: Hogarth.
Freud, S. (1923) The ego and id. Standard Edition 19. London: Hogarth.
Freud, S. (1924) Neurosis and psychosis. Standard Edition 19. London: Hogarth.
Gergen, K. (1985) The social constructionist movement in psychology. American Journal of Psychology, 40, 266275.
Glover, E. (1931) The therapeutic effect of inexact interpretations: a contribution to the theory of suggestion. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 12, 397411.
Grant, S., Holmes, J. & Watson, J. (1993) Psychotherapy training as part of general professional training. Psychiatric Bulletin, 17, 695698.
Haley, J. (1976) Problem Solving Therapy, San Francisco: Josey Bass.
Hartland, S. (1991) Supportive psychotherapy. In A Textbook of Psychotherapy in Psychiatric Practice (ed. Holmes, J.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Hartmann, H. (1939) Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation. London: Imago (1958).
Holmes, J. (1992) Between Art and Science: Essays in Psychotherapy and Psychiatry. London: Routledge.
Holmes, J. (1993) John Bowlby and Attachment Theory. London: Routledge.
Holmes, J. & Crown, S. (1995) Long term individual psychotherapy. In The Psychotherapies (3rd edn) (ed. Bloch, S.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Horowitz, M., Marmar, C., Weiss, D., et al (1984) Brief psychotherapy of bereavement reactions: the relationship of process to outcome. Archives of General Psychiatry, 41, 438448.
Kohon, G. (1986) The British School of Psychoanalysis: The Independent Transition. London: Free Association Books.
Kohut, H. (1977) The Restoration of the Self. New York: International Universities Press.
Langsley, D. & Yager, J. (1988) The definition of a psychiatrist: eight years later. American Journal of Psychiatry, 145, 469475.
Linehan, M. (1993) Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press.
Linehan, M., Armstrong, H., Suarez, A., et al (1991) Cognitive–behavioural treatment of chronically parasuicidal borderline patients. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 10601064.
Novalis, P., Rojcewicz, S. & Peele, R. (1993) Clinical Manual of Supportive Psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
Orlinsky, D. & Howard, K. (1986) Process and outcome in psychotherapy. In Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behaviour Change (eds Garfield, S. & Bergin, A.). Chichester: Wiley.
O'Dowd, T. (1988) Five years of heart-sink patients in general practice. British Medical Journal, 297, 528536.
Pine, F. (1986) Supportive psychotherapy, a psychoanalytic perspective. Psychiatric Annals, 16, 527529.
Rayner, E. (1991) The Independent Mind in British Psychoanalysis. London: Free Association Books.
Rockland, L. (1987) A supportive approach: psychodynamically oriented supportive therapy – treatment of borderline patients who self-mutilate. Journal of Personality Disorders, 1, 350353.
Rockland, L. (1989) Supportive Psychotherapy: a Psychodynamic Approach. New York: Basic Books.
Rockland, L. (1992) Supportive Psychotherapy for Borderline Patients. New York: Guilford.
Rockland, L. (1993) A review of supportive psychotherapy, 1986–1992. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 44, 10531060.
Rockland, L. Introduction to special section on supportive psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 48, 103.
Stiles, W., Shapiro, D. & Elliot, R. (1986) Are all psychotherapies equivalent? American Journal of Psychotherapy, 41, 165180.
Strachey, J. (1934) On the nature of the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 15, 127159.
Sullivan, H. (1953) The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry. New York: Norton.
Wallerstein, R. (1986) 42 Lives in Treatment: A Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. New York: Guilford.
Watts, D. & Morgan, G. (1994) Malignant alienation. British Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 1115.
Werman, D. (1984) The Practice of Supportive Psychotherapy. New York: Brunner.
Winston, A., Pinsker, H. & McCullough, L. (1986) A review of supportive psychotherapy. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 37, 11051114.

Supportive Psychotherapy the Search for Positive Meanings

  • Jeremy Holmes (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Supportive Psychotherapy the Search for Positive Meanings

  • Jeremy Holmes (a1)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *