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Saravay, S.M. (1977). The Leader in the Group. In Honor of Alexander Wolf, M.D., for his Thirty-Five Years of Outstanding Teaching, Supervision, Writing, and Clinical Practice: Edited by Zanvel A. Liff, Ph.D. New York: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1975. 329 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 46:701-703.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:701-703

The Leader in the Group. In Honor of Alexander Wolf, M.D., for his Thirty-Five Years of Outstanding Teaching, Supervision, Writing, and Clinical Practice: Edited by Zanvel A. Liff, Ph.D. New York: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1975. 329 pp.

Review by:
Stephen M. Saravay

The Leader in the Group, edited by Zanvel Liff, is a collection of complete and partial articles and essays on the role and function of the leader, assembled in honor of the retirement of Alexander Wolf, a pioneer in "psychoanalytic group therapy." On the whole, it is a disappointing book that could have provided an important service.

The first of four sections is a sampling of Wolf's thoughts through the years on the role, function, and comportment of the small group leader and on the group techniques he helped develop. It is difficult to read because of the rambling style and repetitious treatment of issues. The content, too, is disappointing. Where we might have hoped for a well-balanced evaluation of psychoanalytic group therapy that illuminated its relationship to other treatment modalities, we are presented with a selection of pedantic opinions misrepresenting psychoanalysis, individual psychotherapy, and group dynamic psychotherapy in turn, rejecting each in favor of Wolf's own approach. Some of the later chapters achieve a higher plane of discourse. For instance, "The Role of the Leader as Psychoanalyst," written with Emanuel K.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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