Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 39 Issue 4 (December 1966), Pages 269-362

Silence in psychiatric interviews (pages 357-362)

The literature on silence in psychotherapy is somewhat diverse, and is confined almost entirely to its theoretical aspects. The following study presents a review of the subject, and considers some problems of management of silence in interview situations, with some suggestions for further investigations.

For the purpose of this paper, silence has been defined in the following terms: ‘A period of time during a formal consultation between a therapist and a patient (or patients) when verbal communication ceases.’

Implicit in this definition is the fact that both parties participate in the silence. It is convenient to consider their roles separately.

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