The Supportive Component of Psychotherapy
November 01, 1998
In view of the fact that support is an important aspect of all models of psychotherapy, it is remarkable that beginning practitioners are not taught how to be supportive. Only limited attention has been paid to discussion of the principles underlying supportive interactions. It seems to be taken for granted that good sense, kindness, innate empathy and life experience will enable psychotherapists-and physicians in general-to meet their patients' needs for support by communicating interest, liking and understanding. Just as the literature on psychoanalysis is a source for much of what we know about the expressive component of therapy, the limited literature on supportive psychotherapy is a source for ideas pertinent to the supportive component.