A general term for psychiatric treatment methods aimed at relieving emotional disturbance by altering the patient’s basic personality structure.Reconstructive therapy is contrasted with supportive therapy, which aims at relieving symptoms through the use of reassurance, persuasion, suggestion, milieu therapy, and recreational or occupational activities without attempting to change the basic personality. It is also distinguished from re-educative therapy, which is designed to modify the patient’s attitudes and behavior patterns as a means to better adjustment. However, the line between the three approaches is not a sharp one, since supportive and re-educative therapy may have a reconstructive effect, and the reconstructive approach always contains supportive and re-educative components.In reconstructive therapy the relief of symptoms is indirectly achieved, since it comes about through a revision or reorganization of the patient’s basic attitudes toward himself as well as his relationships with other people. There are many ways of accomplishing these purposes, but most of them have two major features in common. First, they are usually carried out through a close interpersonal relationship with a therapist; and second, the process usually involves an increase in insight on the part of the patient. There is difference of opinion, however, as to the function of insight. Some therapists consider it the major instrument of personality change, but others regard it as a result or an indicator of progress in personality growth.The following are representative reconstructive therapies. Since they are described elsewhere in this book, they will merely be listed here: (1) psychoanalysis; (2) modifications and variations of psychoanalytic theory: (a) Sullivan’s interpersonal theory, (b) Fromm’s theory of social character, (c) Homey’s cultural theory, (d) Stekel’s active analytic therapy, (e) Ferenczi’s active techniques, (f) brief psychoanalytic therapy,(g) Karpman’s objective psychotherapy(h) Deutsch’s sector analysis, (i) Mow- rer’s learning theory approach, (j) Reich’s character analysis and vegeto- therapy, (k) Federn’s ego psychology,(1) Dollard and Miller’s integration of psychoanalysis and learning theory; (3) lung’s analytical psychology; (4) Rank’s will therapy; (5) Allen and Taft’s relationship therapy; (6) Rogers’ client-centered (nondirective) therapy; (7) Whitaker and Malone’s experiential psychotherapy; (8) Adler’s individual psychology; (9) Meyer’s psychobiology; (10) hypnoanalysis; (11) hypnoidal psychotherapy; (12) therapy under drug-induced narcosis: Grinker and Spiegel’s narcosynthesis, Horsley’s narcoanalysis; (13) play therapies; (14) Levy’s release therapy; (15) Moreno’s psychodrama; (16) reconstructive group therapies; (17) projective psychotherapy; (18) Herz- berg’s active psychotherapy; (19) general semantics; (20) existential analysis; (21) Szondi’s fate analysis; (22) Zen. See the Category Index, under Treatment Techniques and Facilities.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "RECONSTRUCTIVE THERAPY," in, November 28, 2018, (accessed August 16, 2022).


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