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Hurewitz, M. Berger, M.M. Paul, H. (1994). Feedback in Psychotherapy Presenter: Milton Berger, M.D. Discussant: Henry Paul, M.D. April 22, 1993. Am. J. Psychoanal., 54(1):99-100.

(1994). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 54(1):99-100

Scientific Meetings of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis

Feedback in Psychotherapy Presenter: Milton Berger, M.D. Discussant: Henry Paul, M.D. April 22, 1993

Michael Hurewitz, Ph.D., Milton M. Berger, M.D. and Henry Paul, M.D.

Milton Berger's presentation sought to heighten awareness of feedback as the medium for carrying messages. He asserted that feedback “is not often enough perceived, appreciated, or utilized overtly in terms of what takes place between two individuals within therapeutic relationships. Constructive feedback carries acknowledgment of the other: “It is the nucleus of the forming matrix which seeds the curative process of dynamic psychotherapy.” According to Berger, such accord occurs when the dialogue between therapist and patient is openhearted, when there is a leaning toward rather than a leaning away.

He sees feedback from therapist to patient as a form of translation which allows for greater understanding. Feedback informs the patient about the views, theories and orientations of the therapist. Such new translations, according to Berger, aid in the therapeutic process by relieving the patient of depression, guilt, inadequacy or self-hate.

He further asserts that effective therapists do not consciously attempt to appear caring, empathetic, understanding, or compassionate: “they do not promise a cure although they transmit curative massages of concern, wholehearted interest and implications that they have knowledge, experience, and a sincere desire to provide insight, guidance, and re-moralization to this demoralized, depressed, conflicted, anxious or otherwise despairing person, their patient.” If feedback is experienced as inauthentic, the patient may choose to terminate.


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