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Group Treatment in Psychotherapy

Group Treatment in Psychotherapy: A Report of Experience

Copyright Date: 1951
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 152
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  • Book Info
    Group Treatment in Psychotherapy
    Book Description:

    The rapid development of group therapy in general in the past decade has pointed up the need for a clear definition of the aims of such therapy and the processes by which these aims may be achieved. This book answers that need by presenting an analysis of the group therapeutic process in simple, understandable style with a generous use of concrete examples for a vivd demonstration of the principles involved. Dr. Hinckley and Miss Hermann base this analysis on their experience with group therapy for the past ten years in the Students’ Mental Hygiene Clinic at the University of Minnesota. Although certain theoretical assumptions underlie the analysis, the report does not aim to discuss or evaluate theories. The purpose is, rather, to help all who are concerned with human relations to understand the potentialities and limitations of group therapy for their own particular needs. Psychological counselors and guidance workers, social workers and especially those engaged in social group work, educators, medical personnel, and others whose work is associated with psychotherapy will find here an informative and practical guide. The authors have quoted liberally from verbatim records of actual group sessions to show how a group operates therapeutically and what a therapist should do and not do. A final chapter follows a group through a year of weekly meetings to show the step-by-step progress of therapy. Statistics presented in the appendix show the increased amount of therapy resulting from group treatment. Forewords are contributed by C. Gilbert Wrenn, president of the Division of Counseling and Guidance, American Psychological Association, and John C. Kidneigh, director of the School of Social Work, University of Minnesota.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3667-3
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. v-viii)

    GROUP therapy is a fairly recent arrival in the family of professional procedures that are directed toward the alleviation of anxiety and the improvement of personal effectiveness in society. Not so with groups as such, for these have always been used by man for support and cheer. Group therapy is the skilleduseof a group by a therapist for the improvement of the members of the group. It demands a thorough understanding of the dynamics of both individual behavior and group behavior. For this reason fully competent therapists are in short supply.

    It is a temptation in writing a...

  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)

    FOR those concerned with human values this book will be a welcome addition to a growing literature in the field of human relations. It contributes significantly to the knowledge needed by those who would successfully deal with problems of maladjustment. Along with other literature in group therapy, it gives us clearer insight concerning the use of this method. There is no question but that the use of the group method provides opportunity for the extension of therapeutic skills to more patients than would otherwise be possible. Hence, it borders on social work and, in particular, social group work.

    While social...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    R. G. H. and L. H.
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. The Origins and Aims of This Study
    (pp. 3-6)

    THE analysis of the group therapeutic process that follows is based upon the writers’ own experience with this form of treatment as employed in the Students’ Mental Hygiene Clinic of the University of Minnesota during the past decade. To discuss and evaluate theories is not its aim. Though certain theoretical assumptions underlie the analysis, and though a speaking acquaintance with basic psychoanalytic concepts is taken for granted on the part of the reader, these have not determined the structure of the book or influenced its main design. The purpose throughout has been practical and empirical. It has been to illuminate...

  7. CHAPTER 1 The Functions of the Group
    (pp. 7-20)

    ALL over the inhabited world people probably always have employed the group—primitive or highly organized, social or otherwise—for personal pleasure, progress, and accomplishment. Many persons, however, find themselves unable to behave competently or comfortably in a group setting. They feel embarrassed, shy, sometimes unwanted. They often compensate by withdrawal or by excessive animation to a point of dominating others composing the unit. In either instance such persons give little and acquire less in terms of satisfactions and social status.

    Persons poorly adjusted in a group are simply persons poorly adjusted. When failure occurs in social relationships, the inadequacy...

  8. CHAPTER 2 The Function of the Therapist
    (pp. 21-48)

    THE responses patients make in a group setting are regulated by their needs, their wishes to change, and the extent to which they can tolerate psychic pain. These items in turn color the reactions of patients, one to another and to the therapist, who faces always the task of finding his proper relationship to the unit as a whole and to each member in it. Competently to effect this requires the strategic skill of at once directing and permitting.

    The responsibility for setting a cohesive pattern, of course, rests with the therapist and necessitates his comprehension of and his sensitivity...

  9. CHAPTER 3 The Role of the Patient
    (pp. 49-61)

    THE function of the therapist is a helping, a giving one. Patients in some measure must be receptive and dependent. As they move in treatment and begin to use their emotional resources, their roles shift.

    The relationships which patients in a group build toward each other and toward the therapist differ. The bond with the therapist remains a loosely parental one at all times. Patient-to-patient interaction, on the other hand, is a sibling relationship much of the time, but not invariably. Whereas the therapist is always relatively permissive, patients sometimes limit each other stringently; whereas the role of the therapist...

  10. CHAPTER 4 Dynamics of Group Movement
    (pp. 62-94)

    MOVEMENT is, in a sense, a measure of the patients’ ego-valence. The degree to which patients are able to weave perceptions acquired in the group into forceful and meaningful patterns is the degree of personality growth. Movement, however, is seldom steadily progressive. It fluctuates with spurts of intensive progress and episodes of seeming sterility. Such plateaus appear for a number of reasons. Probably the most common of these is the current satiety of the patients. The patients themselves state this clearly and simply:

    Bill. You get sick of this palaver.

    Brody. Full up! It’s like being in the Army. You...

  11. CHAPTER 5 Functional Mechanics in the Group
    (pp. 95-106)

    THE group is a social vehicle which affords treatment opportunity to patients. To make group experience consistently therapeutic and non-hazardous, movement at an optimum pace and level is essential for each participant. This demands insight, skill, and control by the therapist, together with highest participation by all the members emotionally united as a cohesive body. In our experience achieving this goal has been aided by the setting, by the character of the population, and more directly, by the formulation of rules based upon evolving work. The group as a social therapeutic unit has great potential mobility, which can be impaired...

  12. CHAPTER 6 Highlights from a Group
    (pp. 107-129)

    FROM the foregoing pages it is apparent that well planned and utilized group therapy is a very valuable method and tool. It differs from individual treatment; but discreetly and skillfully employed, it can well be used for many patients as the complete mode of treatment. For other patients it is valuable as an adjunctive therapy, both increasing the effectiveness of individual treatment and resulting in a saving of time. It may be used as an induction into individual therapy, concurrently with it, or after individual treatment has been terminated.

    Many of those patients needing only supportive therapy can more rapidly...

  13. APPENDIX. Case Load
    (pp. 130-133)
  14. Index
    (pp. 134-136)