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PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL THERAPY DESIGNED TO MEET UNCONSCIOUS NEEDS
William C. Menninger
Am J Psychiatry 1936;93:347-360.
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Abstract

I have listed six therapeutic aims by which we attempt through prescription to meet specific unconscious emotional needs in the psychiatric patient. In describing these, it has been my purpose to report only positive findings and experiments, and I have purposely neglected to introduce the many failures and the many unsolved problems involved. It has been an attempt to give direction and purpose to the management of hospital therapy rather than any intention of showing the way. There are a host of other unconscious needs and we are cautiously experimenting with ways and means of meeting some of them. Those which I have outlined may be apparent even in the initial history obtained from a relative and in many more instances they can be discerned from study and observation of the individual. I have tried to indicate how we attempt to meet these six needs by outlining therapeutic aims: to afford an outlet for aggressions, to encourage advantageous identifications, to permit atonement of guilt, to afford a means of obtaining love, to encourage the acting out of phantasies, and to afford an opportunity to create. The method of executing these aims has been briefly illustrated by case material.

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