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THE SYMPTOM OR CHARACTER TRAIT MAY BECOME "ORGANIC"
JOHN P. KEMPH
Am J Psychiatry 1964;120:1085-1088.
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Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

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Abstract

Occasionally a symptom or character trait may not change during an otherwise successful course of psychotherapy. It is postulated that this may result from the development of a multitude of intrapsychic associations, learned patterns of behavior, and at the organ level many nerve fiber synaptic connections between nerve cells and between neural systems which form an organic basis for the character trait or symptom. Prolonged therapy may nevertheless be successful in these "organic conditions through the patient's establishing new adaptational modes of behavior as a result of the ability of the human nerve cells to form new cellular processes. This development of nerve fibers occurs most rapidly in early childhood and there may be a second period of rapid growth in adolescence.

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