Risks of Short-Term Psychotherapy

  • Raoul Schindler


Persistent inability to make decisions can be taken as a common indicator for psychotherapy. The patient feels caught in a situation he has to break out of, without being able to take the responsibility to do so. He looks for someone to do this for him, in other words: a counselor. Therefore conselling is traditionally the basic form of short-term psychotherapy. The conselor will be no better and no worse than the guarantee which he can provide for his advice. His success as a conselor therefore depends on his authority. Unquestionably the best conselor is the prophet, for he can offer success as part of his view of the future. His credibility is attested by “true believers” and miracles, or by his membership of a recognized church. But short-term psychotherapists are “false prophets” from the outset, in that they rely on a theory of probability, that is to say on science. It is in their interest to compensate for this handicap by seeking to have their science recognized, recruiting believers and performing cures that can be presented as miracles.


True Believer Forced Regression Unfulfilled Expectation Schizophrenic Episode Trained Analyst 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raoul Schindler
    • 1
  1. 1.Wiener Arbeitskreis für TiefenpsychologieWienAustria

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