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PSYCHOTHERAPY IN THE GENERAL HOSPITAL
Theodore P. Wolfe
Am J Psychiatry 1939;95:1307-1317.
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The Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, N. Y.

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Abstract

Against the background of some six years' experience with research concerning psychosomatic problems, carried out on the wards of a general hospital, an attempt has been made in this paper to point out (1) the magnitude of the task psychotherapy has to fulfill in the general hospital; (2) some of the types of psychotherapeutic situation most frequently met with in the general hospital; and (3) the particular difficulties and limitations of psychotherapeutic work in the general hospital.At the present, psychotherapeutic work in the general hospital is more a desideratum than an actuality. The translation of this need into practical application will have to be mainly along three lines: (1) further, intensive work in the field of psychosomatic research; (2) further progress in psychiatric education, with especial emphasis on bridging the gap between general medicine and psychiatry, and the training of psychiatrists especially equipped for psychotherapeutic work on general hospital wards; and (3) convincing demonstration to the authorities responsible for hospital administration that a psychotherapeutic service on general medical wards is not a financial liability, but a financial asset.

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psychotherapy
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