Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Supportive psychotherapy

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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.


This therapy has been used for patients suffering from severe cases of addiction as well as bulimia nervosa, stress and other mental illnesses.

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.

    Research directions

    Some studies suggest that genetics, animal studies and neuroscience may have an impact or play a role in supportive psychotherapy.


    Supportive psychotherapy Wikipedia

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