Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


The relationship between therapist and patient is an important tool in the process of helping a patient change. There are various elements that make up the total relationship between patient and therapist, each with its own power to exert for and against change. Transference can be one of the most relentless of these elements in maintaining the status quo for ourpatients. To help our patients make significant gains against this relentless pressure is most of our task in psychotherapy. The real-relationship has been considered in the literature since the early 1940's and is described by Greenson as "the realistic and genuine relationship" between patient and therapist (8). There has been an increasing amount of discussion about the real-relationship and its application as a resource in the psychotherapeutic process. This article considers several writers' current views on the issue and proposes points at which therapists may focus their care and attention to effect deeper, more lasting, therapeutic changes.

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