Bertram Karon

Bertram Karon
Michigan State University | MSU · Department of Psychology

A B. Harvard; Ph.D. Princeton

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124
Publications
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Publications

Publications (124)
Article
Full-text available
The effects of sampling error were studied empirically with respect to four methods of equating scales of tests administered to non-overlapping groups of subjects: (1) mean and sigma method, (2) equi-percentile method, (3) maximum likelihood method using an “anchor” test, (4) standard reference group method using an “anchor” test. The methods were...
Article
Full-text available
Many therapists avoid working with adolescents. One of the reasons is that many adolescents are unreasonably hostile to therapists and express this hostility in ways that are hard to take. This is particularly difficult if you take their hostility at face value. But there is something ironic about adolescent hostility toward therapists. Although it...
Article
This study attempted to determine whether cefuroxime was superior to cephalothin as a surrogate marker for cefpodoxime among urinary tract isolates. The Microscan© system was used to determine susceptibility for cephalothin and cefuroxime on consecutive cultures with a colony count of > 50,000 organisms. Simultaneously, an E-test for cefpodoxime wa...
Article
Full-text available
Today, most psychologists and psychiatrists diagnose any excessive fear as a phobia. But psychoanalysts make an important distinction: True phobias must be inconsistent with the conscious learning experiences of the individual, that is, they involve unconscious meanings. Severe fears that are not true phobias respond well to cognitive behavior ther...
Article
A patient in psychoanalytic psychotherapy reported to the analyst that the patient recently had been forced by satanic cult members to commit a murder. After discussion, the patient and the analyst agreed to inform the police. The police could not find evidence for the occurrence of the crime. Continued psychoanalytic work revealed that it was not...
Conference Paper
Background: Our goal was to evaluate all positive blood cultures in order to ensure patients received optimal antimicrobial therapy while concurrently minimizing inappropriate use for probable contaminated blood cultures. This multidisciplinary program utilized automated result reporting, daily review of these reports and the electronic medical rec...
Article
Full-text available
Excitement, the strong positive affect engendered by new information, plays a key role in creative learning. The department chair noted as problematic for all programs that very few of our graduate students became faculty at major universities. But many of the students of Karon did become faculty at major universities, one index of quality of gradu...
Article
Most smokers who give up smoking relapse. There is a simple procedure that has been used successfully that prevents relapse. It has been used clinically for many years. When not smoking, we do not experience the feel, the taste, or the smell of the cigarette. When we next experience any one of these, we tend to reexperience a strong wish to smoke....
Article
Vancomycin treatment failures and increased mortality have been reported in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) >1 μg/mL. Most of this data utilized manual testing to determine the MIC. Recent vancomycin treatment guidelines do not specify the optimal testing method to define the...
Article
That two-thirds of depressed adults are resistant to medication has led to the addition of psychotherapy to treatment, but is medication necessary? Results are at least as good with psychotherapy alone, and the relapse rate is less. Handling of suicidal danger, sleep disorders, and common depressing issues in college students are discussed along wi...
Article
Full-text available
Davidson (2008), VandenBos (2008), and Silver (2008), well-known experts in the treatment of schizophrenia, have provided very interesting, thought-provoking, and important perspectives on my Case of Mr. X (Karon, 2008) and other such patients. In my response to Davidson, I describe my own problematic clinical experience concerning his positive vie...
Article
Mr. X, a schizophrenic, was evaluated by all his psychiatrists as “incurable” after several years of unsuccessful outpatient and two months of inpatient treatment, both with medications. Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) was strongly but pessimistically recommended. He was not eating, not sleeping, and continuously hallucinating. He began outpatient...
Article
There are more schizophrenic patients outside hospitals than in them. Acute schizophrenics are a varied group of patients who very frequently may be best treated in outpatient office practice. They need a therapist who is strong enough to be a protective object and an auxiliary ego and who will deal with the unconscious meaning of the hallucinatory...
Article
That two-thirds of depressed adults are resistant to medication has led to the addition of psychotherapy to treatment, but is medication necessary? Results are at least as good with psychotherapy alone, and the relapse rate is less. Handling of suicidal danger, sleep disorders, and common depressing issues in college students are discussed along wi...
Article
Schizophrenia is a chronic terror syndrome. In World War II there were battlefield traumas that always produced classic schizophrenic symptoms. However, if the patients were healthy before the trauma, they spontaneously recovered. The myth of the incurability of schizophrenia led to the belief that these individuals could not be schizophrenic if th...
Article
Clinical experience leads to the conclusion that schizophrenics and other psychotics can best be treated by psychoanalytic therapy without medication. So do research studies using competent therapists and control groups, such as Deikman and Whitaker (1979) and Karon and VandenBos (1981). The supposed necessity for biological treatments is based on...
Article
Psychotic depression is best treated by psychotherapy without medication. If medication is used it should be withdrawn as the patient can tolerate it. Every affect, including depression, has meaning. Depressed patients may feel sad, frightened, angry, undifferentiated negative affect, or no feelings at all. How to deal with sleep disturbances and w...
Article
Insights from the author's previous systematic research and psychoanalytic observations are summarized. In a nationwide Gallup sample, segregation was found destructive to African Americans and Whites, although differently so. Clinical experience delineated the number 4 as a symbol, the helpfulness of psychoanalysis, and meanings of schizophrenic s...
Article
Full-text available
Why did a group of eminent psychiatrists and psychologists produce a consensus statement that seeks to forestall debate on the merits of the widespread diagnosis and drug treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Barkley et al., 2002)? If the evidence is already that good then no statement is needed. However, the reality is that...
Article
No one who read Frieda Fromm-Reichmann's "Transference Problems in Schizophrenia" could reasonably think about persons with schizophrenia in the same way as before. Her writings made clear that schizophrenia is a human experience with meaning, meaning that is hard to uncover, but it only takes patience, kindness, a tolerance for not understanding a...
Article
R. F. Bornstein (2001) points to real problems but underestimates what is going on now clinically and scientifically, exaggerates the past acceptance, and undervalues the scientific value of clinical observations. He ignores the role of economic factors in determining the status of psychoanalysis. He rejects repression, castration anxiety, penis en...
Article
Sorting out the distinctions between reality and fantasy in terms of apparently recovered memories and reconstructions is at least as puzzling as sorting out current realities. In responding to C. B. Brenneis's (see records 2007-10660-001 and 2001-07368-001) challenge to the existence of the phenomena of repression and of recovered or reconstruct...
Article
Full-text available
Empirically, psychotherapy with a competent therapist is the optimal, but rarely offered treatment, for schizophrenia. Medication or ECT produces less disturbing, lifelong cripples. Within 25 years one-third spontaneously recover completely (unless they stay on medication), and another third socially recover. Nazi Germany sterilized and annihilated...
Article
Discusses the validity of statistical vs clinical prediction via interpretation of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Rorschach, and other clinical data. It is frequently (falsely) stated as axiomatic that statistical prediction is more accurate than clinical prediction. This belief is sometimes used as the rationale for not valuing the understa...
Article
Discusses the validity of statistical vs clinical prediction via interpretation of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Rorschach, and other clinical data. It is frequently (falsely) stated as axiomatic that statistical prediction is more accurate than clinical prediction. This belief is sometimes used as the rationale for not valuing the understa...
Article
Responding to comments by S. O. Lilienfeld and E. F. Loftus (see record 1999-01568-013) and M. Pendergrast (see record 1999-01568-014), the authors discuss the evidence supporting the existence of repressed–recovered memories rather than specifically addressing what they see as distortions of their past research. Karon and Widener state that repr...
Article
Responding to comments by S. O. Lilienfeld and E. F. Loftus (see record 1999-01568-013) and M. Pendergrast (see record 1999-01568-014), the authors discuss the evidence supporting the existence of repressed–recovered memories rather than specifically addressing what they see as distortions of their past research. Karon and Widener state that repres...
Article
The real tragedy of schizophrenia is not the severity of the symptoms and the suffering that result for patients and their families. Rather, the real tragedy is that we know treatments that work but are not using them. Families and patients are settling for treatments that aim at making the patient a lifelong cripple who is not too disturbing. When...
Article
Repression exists. Four commentaries by J. Giglio (1998), A. Piper (1998), S. Q. Lilienfeld and E. F. Loftus (1998), and M. Pendergrast (1998) deny the existence of repression. But every psychodynamic therapist regularly observes the phenomenon. Experimental as well as clinical evidence for repression clearly exists; these critics ignore or misrepr...
Article
Repression exists. Four commentaries by J. Giglio (1998), A. Piper (1998), S. Q. Lilienfeld and E. F. Loftus (1998), and M. Pendergrast (1998) deny the existence of repression. But every psychodynamic therapist regularly observes the phenomenon. Experimental as well as clinical evidence for repression clearly exists; these critics ignore or misrepr...
Article
Insight creates change. It is not accurate empathy, but the therapist's attempt at empathy (whether or not successful) that produces change in patients. It is absolutely necessary for a competent therapist to tolerate being confused. Patients internalize the therapist into their superegos, replacing the internalized, punitive parents. They also int...
Article
Full-text available
Is there a central organizing entity that brings order to the multiple voices in the person? How can healthy multivoicedness be distinguished from dissociation or fragmentation? What patterns of attachment or dissociation are present in psychosis? How can hallucinated voices be dealt with in treatment? Parents’ voices speak in their children, but d...
Article
The war neuroses of World War II (WWII) provide ample evidence that repression does indeed occur, and that the recovery of these traumatic memories and their related affects led to remission of symptoms. Moreover, these recovered memories were of events that had occurred. An illustrative case history from WWII is described. This well-documented bod...
Article
It is generally believed that a treatment that is more effective than its alternatives will be used, but psychological treatments for schizophrenic and other psychotic reactions have been avoided despite the evidence for their effectiveness from the time of “moral treatment” to the present. Less effective (or even destructive) treatments have been...
Article
Understanding schizophrenic persons means facing facts about ourselves, our families, and our society that we do not want to know, or to know again (in the case of repressed feelings and experiences). The central role of terror in producing symptoms, and the genesis and psychological handling of symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations, are...
Article
Many people have reported memories of having been abducted by aliens. A female patient reported a frightening dream wherein she was kidnapped by giant aliens whose way of thinking and behavior she could not understand even though she tried. Her associations led to her parents and the other adults with whom she lived as a child. This provides a poss...
Article
Comments on the review by R. F. Muñoz et al (see record 1994-31016-001 ) of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (1993) Depression in Primary Care guidelines, arguing that they were too tactful. It is contended that the guidelines are unfair to psychotherapy, and that Muñoz et al exaggerate the value of medication and ECT and underestimat...
Article
Comments on the review by R. F. Muñoz et al (see record 1994-31016-001) of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (1993) Depression in Primary Care guidelines, arguing that they were too tactful. It is contended that the guidelines are unfair to psychotherapy, and that Muñoz et al exaggerate the value of medication and ECT and underestimate...
Article
Full-text available
Professional psychology is exciting, creative work. Graduate schools often discourage, bore, and wear down the student. Research is made painful; research training all too often does not lead to doing research as a professional. The system punishes faculty for taking the time to acquire adequate clinical training or experience. Inadequate faculty a...
Article
Professional psychology is exciting, creative work. Graduate schools often discourage, bore, and wear down the student. Research is made painful; research training all too often does not lead to doing research as a professional. The system punishes faculty for taking the time to acquire adequate clinical training or experience. Inadequate faculty a...
Article
Managed care was intended to save money by eliminating unnecessary services. However, for both physical medicine and mental health care, it is easier to save money by simply cutting needed services. This is what is happening in managed care in the US today. However, data exist for arriving at reasonable procedures to provide real help and still be...
Article
Describes artistic creation (AC), a complex adaptive ego function that is developed by psychopathological artists to a high degree of efficiency as a means of coping with internal and external reality. AC serves a variety of needs, conscious and unconscious. AC is not regression, although some of the needs expressed are regressed needs. The meaning...
Article
Therapists who treat schizophrenics (SCZs) generally report a parenting interaction different from that usual to neurotic patients. Communication deviance, measured from parental interaction, the Rorschach Inkblot Test, and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) has been found to characterize parents and adoptive parents of SCZs. Expressed emotion (i...
Article
Argues that HMOs offer managed mental health care in order to provide as little care as possible and without admitting that the care is inadequate. HMOs save money on care by implementing cost-cutting measures that reduce the quality of care. Usually, when cost effectiveness is being considered, only the costs of therapist, hospital, medication, or...
Article
Describes how psychotherapeutic treatments for schizophrenia (SZ) have been avoided despite ample evidence for their effectiveness. Among the problems with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-III (DSM-III) are its rationalization of bad treatment and the preservation of the myth of SZ's incurability. Less effective, often dest...
Article
Although it is generally believed that a treatment that is more effective than its alternatives will be used, psychological treatments for schizophrenic and other psychotic reactions have been avoided despite the evidence of their effectiveness from the time of "moral treatment" to the present. Less effective (or even destructive) treatments have b...
Article
Explanations of the negative therapeutic reaction (i.e., when a patient who seemingly should get better gets worse) include unconscious masochism, guilt, the wish for punishment, and envy of the psychoanalyst. Such explanations rarely lead to therapeutic resolution and distract from specific antecedents. A case example of a 60-yr-old man suffering...
Article
Four principles are identified that account for most delusion formation. The most important of these is transference--transference to the world at large. The second is the defense against pseudohomosexual impulses as described by Freud (and generally misunderstood). The third is the learning within the family of bizarre meanings of concepts which a...
Article
the question of the relative merits of psychotherapy versus medication has not been examined in a systematic study recently, but six major American controlled studies have been carried out the Pennsylvania Study / first attempt to compare a sample of schizophrenic patients receiving a specific form of psychotherapy with a sample of schizophrenic...
Article
Clarifies frequent misconceptions held by nonpsychoanalytic psychologists and delineates those trends in contemporary psychoanalysis that seem most powerful therapeutically, as well as scientifically valid. Fear, phobias, and panic attacks; depressive defense; unconscious processes; formation of a therapeutic alliance; projective identification; co...
Article
Four principles are identified that account for most delusion formation. The most important of these is transference--transference to the world at large. The second is the defense against pseudohomosexual impulses as described by Freud (and generally misunderstood). The third is the learning within the family of bizarre meanings of concepts which a...
Article
Full-text available
Points out an omission in I. R. Falloon and R. P. Liberman's (see record 2005-09727-006) review of the evidence for interactions between drugs and psychosocial treatments for schizophrenic patients. Data showing that medication, when added to psychodynamic psychotherapy, made behavioral control easier to attain and data revealing differences betwee...
Article
Full-text available
In spite of the enormous effort made by the Boston group, the findings were few. The high rate of dropouts and refusals to be assessed raise serious questions. One significant point that should be raised is that there was no difference in the use of medication between the treatments, and there should have been to foster underlying change with expre...
Article
A type of transference is described in which the patient treats the therapist not as if the latter were his father or mother, but as if the therapist were the patient and the patient reenacts the role of mother and father. This usually occurs when the therapy session seems irritating, exhausting or anxiety-provoking; this is particularly frequent w...
Article
Contends that psychiatrists who are medication oriented can generally earn more money with less specialized training than can psychotherapy-oriented pychiatrists and that there is a tendency for them to believe that what they have not been trained in does not exist. The author cautions society against allowing medication-oriented psychiatrists to b...
Article
Argues that T. C. Wade and T. B. Baker's article shows limited knowledge of the validity studies of projective tests (PTs). Many studies of PTs have found them to be valid. These studies (1) use interpreters who have relevant training and experience and who are predicting criteria with which they are familiar and (2) evaluate the research by an app...
Article
Full-text available
Comments on an article by James Beck (see record 2005-09716-014). In an otherwise valuable review article, it was surprising that only a one-page note summarizing the preliminary findings (after 12 months of clinical work) on the Michigan State Psychotherapy Project was cited. The project was then criticized for not presenting details ("selection,...
Article
Notes that psychotherapy with the poor patient is no different from good psychotherapy with anyone. The intertwining of reality and psychodynamics must be dealt with in all its complexity. But reality problems elicit prototypic countertransferences. The therapist from lower class origins may perceive the patient as his bad self, himself as failure....
Article
Data from the Michigan State Psychotherapy Project demonstrate that a minimal amount of psychoanalytic psychotherapy for schizophrenics, as compared to medication, results in decreased thought disorder, improved overall functioning, shortened hospitalization, and less cost. Therapeutic effectiveness was not relatedto being a psychologist or a psych...
Article
Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1976, Vol 21(1), 74. Bertram P. Karon responds to Paul H. Wender et al's reply (see record 2006-06282-085) to Karon's response (see record 2006-06269-080) to comments by Wender et al (see record 2006-06269-079) on Karon's review (see record 2006-06272-008) of Theodore Lidz's...
Article
Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1975, Vol 20(12), 987. Bertram P. Karon replies to comments by Paul H. Wender et al (see record 2006-06269-079) on Karon's review (see record 2006-06272-008) of Theodore Lidz's book The Origin and Treatment of Schizophrenic Disorders (1973). Karon points out that the personal...
Article
Presents a cost review showing that, despite the expense of psychotherapy, there were savings of 22-36% in total treatment costs because of the shorter hospitalization of the patients.
Article
Responds to criticism by A. H. Tuma and P. R. May (see PA, Vol 57: Issue 4) of the Michigan Psychotherapy Project, in which it was concluded from the findings that psychotherapy carried out by experienced therapists is helpful for hospitalized schizophrenics. The Tuma-May criticisms are challenged on the grounds that they ignore the major compariso...
Article
The concurrent and predictive validity of the Feldman Drasgow Visual Verbal Test, an objective measure of the schizophrenic thought disorder, was examined. As part of a larger study of the effectiveness of psychotherapy with schizophrenics, 33 schizophrenics were given the VVT before treatment and after 6, 12, and 20 mth of treatment. Concurrent va...
Article
Gave a psychiatric interview (to determine clinical status) and the Rorschach Test to 33 schizophrenics 4 times during a 20-mo period. Test-retest changes in 10 Rorschach indices of ego regression were then correlated with concurrent measures of clinical status change. F + %, R, Perseveration and Scorability were significantly related as predicted....
Article
Full-text available
Comments on the original article, "Psychotherapy for Schizophrenics—Is It Indicated? A Review of the Relevant Literature," by D. B. Feinsilver and J. G. Gunderson (see record 1973-23441-001). The current author, whose work was cited by Feinsilver and Gunderson, points out a serious error in the table summarizing studies assessing psychotherapy with...
Article
It is usually assumed that the white man benefits from the American “caste” system. A Gallup sample of Northern, Border South, and Deep South whites was compared on the basis of the Tomkins-Horn Picture Arrangement Test, administered in 1954. Differences between the North and Border South did not replicate. More frequent among Deep South whites (co...
Article
Describes a study in which 2 forms of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, one not using medication and one using medication adjunctively, were contrasted with treatment by medication only. Ss were 36 16-49 yr. old schizophrenics who were randomly assigned to 3 treatment groups. Treatment was available to Ss for 20 mo. and an average of approximately 70 s...
Article
The pre-project TATs of ten therapists were rated for “pathogenesis” and these ratings later correlated with their patient's level of functioning after six months of treatment. Outcome was measured in a variety of data modalities: intellectual tests, thought disorder measures, projectives, clinical status interviews, and hospitalization. Significan...
Article
Thirty-two male subjects, with no history of psychiatric disorder, having had both mother and father figures in their childhood, were examined with a modified Blacky technique to discover which parent was the castrator in their phantasies. The striking finding was that typically the classical phantasy of the father as castrator exists, but that it...
Article
A fundamental anxiety, if not the fundamental anxiety, in males, according to classical Freudian psychoanalysis, is the fear of castration. According to Freud (1953, pp. 120–121; 1933a, p. 267) this is the fear of being castrated by the father as a reprisal for incestuous desires toward the mother. Nonetheless, the concept of the castrating mother...
Article
Meaningful measures of mental health derived from clinical instruments such as the Rorschach, TAT, and Clinical Status Interview (CSI) are not ordinarily quantifiable without sacrificing the subjective, clinical, and global nature of the data. A practical technique for scaling clinical judgments is described. Judgments of 35 schizophrenic patients...
Article
Full-text available
In their article published in this Journal in 1965, May and Tuma (1) suggested that only the use of medication made a difference in the outcome with schizophrenics, and that psychotherapy, whether or not combined with medication, made essentially no difference. Their data, however, as in so many psychotherapy projects, referred only to patients tre...
Article
the unconscious, regression, transference, and resistance / basic psychoanalytic technique / Freud's structural theory / drives / psychosexual stages / male and female development / seduction / dreams / symptom formation / ego psychology / interpersonal theory / psychoanalytic developmental psychology / object relations / self psychology / affect p...
Article
Compares May's (1968) and the authors' (1972) studies on the relative effectiveness of psychotherapy, medication, and combined medication/psychotherapy as treatments for schizophrenia; the former found medication most effective, the latter psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Responding to criticism by May and Tuma (1970), the discussion details differenc...
Article
Thesis--Princeton University. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 191-195). Microfilm of typescript. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University Microfilms, 1958. -- 1 reel ; 35 mm.
Article
Male and female Rorschach protocols were blindly identified by name from 29 schizophrenic patients, 13 men, 16 women, after gaining information about each patient's personal, social, and psychological functioning from psychiatric interviews conducted at the time of hospitalization, six months, and one year later. Only the sex of the patient was kno...
Article
36 clearly schizophrenic patients were randomly assigned to 3 treatments. Those treated by experienced therapists showed more improvement in intellectual test scores than those by student therapists. Those treated by experienced therapists using active psychoanalytic therapy without medication or by "ego-analytic" psychoanalytic therapy using medic...
Chapter
In this chapter, I shall not attempt to review all the issues of validity of projective tests and the evidence relevant thereto. (That would take several volumes, rather than a chapter. One can summarize the literature briefly as follows: There are hundreds of articles on projective techniques which show them to be valid and hundreds of articles de...

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