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Supportive Psychotherapy

  1. Sidney Bloch

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0966

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Bloch, S. 2010. Supportive Psychotherapy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University of Melbourne, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The derivation of the word “support” illuminates the treatment under consideration: supportare: sup _ sub _ portare—to carry (Oxford English Dictionary, 1978). In essence, the therapist helps to sustain people who are so affected by a mental disorder or personality dysfunction that they depend on that assistance, over an extended period, to function adequately. Piper, Joyce, McCallum, Azim and Ogrodniczak (2002) put it this way: “supportive therapy is…principally focused on strengthening mental structures that are actively or chronically deficient…”


  • supportive therapy;
  • therapeutic relationship;
  • therapeutic mechanisms;
  • problems in therapy;
  • alliance