The Patient pp 385-399 | Cite as

Therapeutic Dimensions

  • Hoyle Leigh
  • Morton F. Reiser


A 42-year-old married white man was admitted to the hospital with high fever. Subsequent workup showed that he had aspiration pneumonia (pneumonia due to aspiration of a foreign substance such as food into the lungs, usually in a state of intoxication or coma). History revealed and highlighted the fact that the patient had increased his alcohol intake considerably in the last two years. He had been divorced four years ago and remarried two years ago. His second wife had turned out to be an alcoholic.

In addition to aspiration pneumonia with secondary staphylococcal infection, liver function tests showed abnormalities indicating early liver disease, probably due to excessive alcohol consumption. The pneumonia was treated with antibiotics. The high fever was treated with aspirin and alcohol rubs. His wife was interviewed by the doctor and the social worker. As the pneumonia subsided, the doctor had a serious talk with the patient and his wife concerning the role of alcohol in the patient’s medical condition. It was decided that both the patient and his wife should join Alcoholics Anonymous. Also, arrangements were made for them to see the social worker on a regular basis for couples therapy. They were also directed to take multivitamins.


Personal Dimension Operant Conditioning Aspiration Pneumonia Relaxation Response Therapeutic Dimension 
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Copyright information

© Hoyle Leigh and Morton F. Reiser 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hoyle Leigh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Morton F. Reiser
    • 3
  1. 1.Yale University School of MedicineYale-New Haven HospitalNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Psychiatric Consultation-Liaison and Outpatient ServicesYale-New Haven HospitalNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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