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Family and Group Therapy

The field of family and group therapy is one of both great interest and great need within contemporary American society. Daily, in newspapers, magazines, journals, television, and the myriad of other parts of the media, one is besieged with the depressing, and often fatalistic, glut of information on the crisis facing society. In addition, twentieth century society becomes ever more complicated and obtuse. This is the era of the information glut, the era of too many people and not enough time, and the era of not enough love. Many of the therapeutic techniques offered under the rubric of group therapy, however, have been shown to be quite effective in alleviating some of the problems faced in the modern world, and offer a variety of approaches to the situations within contemporaneous society (Polster and Polster, 1973).

This paper will provide an overview of some of the major techniques and methodological concerns surrounding a variety of approaches to group therapy. Some of the various models discussed will be the TGroup, Encounter therapy, Selfhelp, Gestalt, Analytic, Primal, and Marathon. Within each of these approaches, the paper will briefly look at their major techniques and approaches, and will analyze the basic effectiveness of each. Finally, the paper will conclude with an assessment of group therapy as a whole, and will suggest some directions for future research.

In general, the approach to group psychotherapy began with a Boston internist, Joseph Pratt. Pratt first applied group methods to the treatment of tuberculosis, and took a psychological orientation toward more traditional medical disease that pointed the way to psychotherapy. In fact, as early as 1930, Pratt established what he called a "thoughtcontrol class" in Boston to reassure the medically ill, and later to encourage patients to express their thoughts and feelings (Anderson, 1985).

Another pioneer in the field, Louis Wender, may have been th...

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Family and Group Therapy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:01, December 01, 2021, from