Developmental Status of the Patient
In this chapter, the author looks at the responses of children, adolescents and the elderly in relation to the therapist's expectancy. The developmental status of the patient is an important focus of the expectant therapist for two reasons. First, the therapist's expectancy has a different symbolic significance depending on the developmental tasks that a certain period presents to a person. Second, the resources a patient has to address any given issue vary with changes in developmental status. The common motives that adolescent patients have for asking a question fall into the following categories: information, identification, intimacy and inhibition of negative affect. The earliest decisions confronting the pregnant therapist typically concern the announcement of the pregnancy. The parents are likely to have their own reactions to the therapist's pregnancy, and sometimes these reactions are actually more intense than those of the child patient.