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Shaskan, D.A. Moran, W.L. (1985). Influence of Group Psychotherapy: A Thirty-Eight-Year Follow-Up. Am. J. Psychoanal., 45(1):93-94.

(1985). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 45(1):93-94

Brief Communications

Influence of Group Psychotherapy: A Thirty-Eight-Year Follow-Up

Donald A. Shaskan, M.D. and William L. Moran, M.S.W.

In 1983 fifteen questionnaires were sent to the remaining members and therapists of the unique therapy group Berne (1954). Compilation and evaluation of their replies is the subject of this brief communication. Respondents were asked to fill out the group climate questionnaire of Dies and MacKenzie. This 38-year follow-up is a continuation of our historical review, a 30-year follow-up, of 1975 (Shaskan et al., 1981).

Our small N (9) was limited to statistical comparisons. Nine former members responded to 15 requests. This compares favorably to our 30-year follow-up, where 17 out of 23 returned questionnaires. Most members and therapists continued their lively interest in the therapy group and its participants. They felt that what had happened was both interesting and important. Both information and feelings were revealed.

Group climate, a focus on social relations and an attempt to bridge the gap between research and practice, is a description of a group along a series of interaction dimensions. These are care, understanding, avoidance, participation, dependence, anger, distance, confrontation, acceptance, trust, disclosure, and tension. These 12 items are ingenuously combined in three scales of engaged, avoiding, and conflict in the MacKenzie group climate questionnaire.

When our results are compared to MacKenzie's, those on members show a great similarity. But there is a marked difference for the therapists (DAS and HR) except in the conflict designation, where results are almost identical (2.54, MacKenzie; 2.0, DAS and HR). Two of the three living therapists continued to express their lively interest in the group. The similarity of their responses to the questionnaire was remarkable.

Engaged is related to cohesion and is high in the MacKenzie scale (item 4) as well as with our patients.

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