In the past decade, stimulated by public concern with issues of mental health, there has been a new spurt of interest in techniques of brief treatment with circumscribed goals. These are applicable to groups as well as to the single patient. There are still differences of opinion about the effectiveness of brief psychotherapy, particularly the lastingness and depth of the results obtained, yet it is often highly beneficial, especially to previously well-functioning individuals who are involved in a situational crisis. Although probably the best results of brief psychotherapy are with disturbances of moderate severity and recent onset, in practice, it is often tried with a wide spectrum of patients. Brief psychotherapy aims at relief of the patient's major current conflicts rather than at change of his personality structure, which generally requires long-term treatment. Brief psychotherapy is of special relevance for the general physician because the patients whom he sees in large numbers are precisely those best suited for this form of treatment
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