Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Psychotherapy in India

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Psychotherapy in India

Article excerpt

Byline: L. S. S.. Manickam

The articles that appeared in Indian Journal of Psychiatry were related to different areas of psychotherapy. Case reports dealt with a wide variety of cases. The review papers focused on the suitability of psychotherapy in the Indian context, different approaches in psychotherapy, psychotherapy training and supervision. Psychotherapy has been viewed very close to faith orientation. There were attempts to identify the indigenous concepts that are applicable to psychotherapy. Empirical studies are low in number. Concerted effort is needed to generate interest in psychotherapy, conduct more research on evidence-based therapies as well as on psychotherapeutic process variables.


Psychotherapy research has entered a new phase in the new century with more than 450 different therapies. From experiential and introspective narrations, it has taken a different turn with more evidence-based research appearing in the recent years in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry (IJP), spanning the period from 1959 to 2007. [sup][1],[2],[3] Search for psychotherapy yielded 92 results in the IJP. On the other hand, search for 'psychotherapy research' showed 31 results which included case reports, editorials as well as book reviews. However, abstract search showed no results for the key word 'psychotherapy research'. Research studies related to psychotherapy process variables like empathy did not come up while searching for psychotherapy.

The psychotherapy articles that appeared in the IJP can be considered as occurring in three different phases in relation to the theoretical allegiance it has taken - initial phase, middle phase and the current phase. In the initial phase there were more articles related to psychoanalytically-oriented concepts. In the middle phase the articles were related to different theoretical concepts-psycho dynamically oriented, humanistic and existential. In the current phase, there are articles that take more of an eclectic and integrative stance. However, all through these phases, one finds an attempt to integrate indigenous concepts in the application of psychotherapy - The one appearing as early as in 1959 [sup][1] to 2004. [sup][4] Analysis of the nature of articles that came up in the search showed that it included those articles that mentioned the need for psychotherapy in different form of disorders too. [sup][5],[6]

Case Reports

The case reports that appeared showed a wide variety of cases. One of the earlier reports in 1958 was related to the successful treatment of a patient with schizophrenia using psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy. [sup][7] Rao reported a case that was treated with Existential therapy in Anxiety Neurosis without medication. [sup][8] The other reports have used psychotherapy as an adjunct in different disorders and the application of psychotherapy with in-patients with schizophrenia. [sup][9] Supportive Psychotherapy was used as an adjunct to treat 'factitious schizophrenia' [sup][10] whereas insight-oriented psychotherapy was used as an adjunct to treat Dermatitis artefacta. [sup][11] One of the case reports published was from Brazil wherein the psychopathology of flash backs in social anxiety disorder was discussed. [sup][12] Nagaraja narrated how psychotherapy was effectively used in treating adolescents in Hysterical Twilight state. [sup][13] Bassa analyzed the cases at child psychotherapy centers; however, there is no mention of psychotherapy among children. [sup][14] He suggested the need for orientation of pediatricians towards psychogenesis of various disorders to help prevent 'psychosomatic disorders'. In another case report, childhood sexual abuse was brought out in five adults during the process of supervised psychotherapy. [sup][15] Bastani reported group psychotherapy with male genital exhibitionists conducted in US. [sup][16]

Different Approaches in Psychotherapy: Cross Roads

Psychotherapists in the Indian context face various dilemmas. …

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