Supportive psychotherapy is the attempt by a therapist bv any practical means whatever to help patients deal with their emotional distress and problems in living. It includes comforting, advising, encouraging, reassuring, and mostly listening, attentively and sympathetically. The therapist provides an emotional outlet, the chance for patients to express themselves and be themselves. Also the therapist may inform patients about their illness and about how to manage it and how to adjust to it. Over the course of treatment he may have to intercede on a patient’s behalf with various authorities, including schools and social agencies, and with the patient’s family- indeed, with all of those with whom the patient may be contending.
Often he must explain his patient’s behavior to others; at the same time, he may have to interpret the meaning of other people’s behavior to his patient. He must educate him to the unwritten but crucial rules that govern all social interaction. The therapist usually encourages his patient to expand his/her interests in the world by making friends, or by going to school or to work.