The therapist and the patient: Coping with noncompliance

Yuval Melamed*, Henri Szor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the mental health clinic, the psychotherapist must cope with a multitude of diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Extensive efforts are expended in reaching a diagnosis and a decision regarding treatment. Despite these efforts, the patient may fail to comply with the recommendations for treatment. Noncompliance has a wide variety of manifestations. One of the major reasons for noncompliance concerns the relationship between the patient and the physician, forcing the therapist to take an active part. Manifestations of noncompliance usually arouse countertransference reactions in therapists, who feel that this behavior exemplifies a lack of trust in them and in the corpus of knowledge they represent. Unique to the therapist's work in the mental health clinic is the need that sometimes arises to begin intervention before a basis for treatment has been established or an initial treatment contract achieved. In certain cases, observation is the only psychotherapeutic intervention possible. Much time may elapse until a therapeutic contract is established, and sometimes it is not established at all.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The therapist and the patient: Coping with noncompliance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this