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Gunderson, J.G. (1974). The Influence of Theoretical Model of Schizophrenia on Treatment Practice. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:182-199.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:182-199

The Influence of Theoretical Model of Schizophrenia on Treatment Practice

John G. Gunderson, M.D.

Robert Wallerstein opened by noting that the organization of this panel differs from the usual workshops in progress in that the presenters are from geographically separate study groups, each of which has been meeting for several years as part of an NIMH-sponsored program on psychotherapy of schizophrenia. Dr. Gunderson, who has coordinated the program for NIMH, provided further introductory remarks about the program. He noted that the panel's topic had arisen repeatedly during the discussions in the four study groups. The study groups were formed under the leadership of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia at NIMH to study the more general topic of psychotherapy of schizophrenia. This program had been initiated for three reasons: (1) Dissatisfaction with existing treatments of schizophrenia, with their heavy emphasis on drugs. (2) To counter the prevailing conclusion, drawn from inadequate evidence, that intensive psychotherapy adds little. (3) To pave the way for experienced clinicians to lend their expertise to research so that future research will be more relevant and influential.

Four geographically based groups (New England, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles) were established and have met approximately every three months for almost two years. Each group is composed of five or six senior psychoanalysts, each averaging approximately 20 years of experience in the treatment of schizophrenic patients. It has been hoped that new vitality might be lent to this field and a platform be provided by which the provincialism and cultism that have long been bugaboos to this field might eventually diminish. Finally, it is NIMH's hope that through such involvement its goals and functions can be seen as relevant to clinical practice and psychoanalytic interest.

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