Supportive psychotherapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that integrates psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and interpersonal conceptual models and techniques. The objective of the therapist is to reinforce the patient's healthy and adaptive patterns of thought behaviors in order to reduce the intrapsychic conflicts that produce symptoms of mental disorders. Unlike in psychoanalysis, in which the analyst works to maintain a neutral demeanor as a "blank canvas" for transference, in supportive therapy the therapist engages in a fully emotional, encouraging, and supportive relationship with the patient as a method of furthering healthy defense mechanisms, especially in the context of interpersonal relationships.
Trust is very important between patients and the doctors to help patients get better treatment effect.
Supportive psychotherapy is used as an initial therapy, to be reduced and not to be prolonged, in situations or periods where there is a lack of means for a systematic approach or behaviorism. Examples of such situations include:
- critical negotiations
- volatile but unavoidable everyday life or decisive situations
- compromises (to introduce at least minimal operational, efficient relationship conditions) in long term, engaged relationships, based on lasting agreements
Internet-based supportive psychotherapy
Internet-based supportive psychotherapy is a type of supportive psychotherapy that is characterized by having a two-hour initial meeting between the client and therapist, and then periodic and occasional study conducted by therapist through email and telephone.
Some studies suggest that genetics, animal studies and neuroscience may have an impact or play a role in supportive psychotherapy.
- Winston, Arnold; Richard N. Rosenthal; & Henry Pinsker. Introduction to Supportive Psychotherapy. Washington, D.C., American Psychiatric Publishing, 2004.
- Werman, David S. The Practice of Supportive Psychotherapy. New York, New York, Psychology Press, 1984.
- Litz B.T., Engel C.C., Bryant R.A., Papa A. (2007) "A randomized, controlled proof-of-concept trial of an Internet-based, therapist-assisted self-management treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder." Am J Psychiatry 2007; 164:1676–1683
- Appelbaum, Ann (2008). "Supportive Psychotherapy for Borderline Patients". Social Work in Mental Health 6: 145–155.