For many patients, supportive therapy is the treatment of choice, and for many others, the use of medications or of more expressive techniques optimally occurs in the context of a supportive relationship. Yet, there is a paucity of literature expressly devoted to the techniques and aims of supportive psychotherapy. In A Primer of Supportive Psychotherapy, Henry Pinsker remedies this situation by focusing directly on the rationale for, and techniques of, supportive psychotherapy. He explores this modality as a form of dyadic intervention quite distinct from expressive psychotherapies, and also shows how, to varying extents, supportive psychotherapy makes use of patterns of relationships and behavior, past and present. Pinsker's writing is wise, human, and direct. The realities, ironies, conundrums, and opportunities of the therapeutic encounter are vividly portrayed in scores of illustrative dialogues drawn from actual treatments.
Destined to become the classic introductory work in the field, A Primer of Supportive Psychotherapy will be valued by students and trainees in all mental health disciplines--and by their teachers--for its wealth of practical guidelines and explicit instruction on how to develop, maintain, and make optimal therapeutic use of a supportive relationship. Psychopharmacologists, counselors, nurse practitioners, and primary care physicians are among the helping professionals who will likewise benefit from Pinsker's clear presentation of the principles of supportive work. Beyond its didactic value, this text will be an indispensable conceptual touchstone for any clinician interested in understanding more clearly the differences among various interventional modalities as a preliminary step in optimal treatment planning.