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Supportive psychotherapy is a dyadic approach aimed at improving symptoms, self-esteem, psychological function, and adaptive skills. With its roots in the psychodynamic approach, the purpose of supportive psychotherapy is to help clients cope with psychological symptoms rather than make personality adjustments. Supportive psychotherapy is traditionally used for clients who do not have the cognitive or psychological abilities to endure intensive psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy. However, supportive psychotherapy is not restricted to use with impaired individuals and can be utilized to address a range of client concerns. Relatively healthy individuals can also benefit from supportive psychotherapy in dealing with short-term problems, such as relationship concerns.

Historical Context

In the early 20th century, psychoanalysis was the primary approach in psychological treatment. By the 1950s, some psychoanalysts, such as Kurt ...

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