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Grabhorn, R. (1998). Affective Experience in a Case of Group Therapy with Psychosomatic Inpatients. Psychoanal. Inq., 18(3):490-511.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 18(3):490-511

Affective Experience in a Case of Group Therapy with Psychosomatic Inpatients

Ralph Grabhorn, M.D.

The greater number of psychosomatic in-patients treated in Germany can certainly be traced back to Germany's extensive system of insurance and an accordant number of rehabilitation clinics (Schepank and Tress, 1988). In view of the relatively limited time span of four to eight weeks as well as the widely varying patient expectations and a relatively low psychotherapeutic motivation as relates to the personality structure or even to the “expectation of a complete cure,” qualitative changes must be viewed as very limited from the outset. As such, the emphasis shifts to how the patient experiences himself, his illness, and his surrounding environment. In this context the central role of the group and of group therapy will be referred to repeatedly (Janssen, 1987; Becker and Senf, 1988). Deter and Schüffel (1988), in their critical analysis of experiences and developments in groups of the psychosomatically and the physically ill, respectively, come to the conclusion that the various treatment concepts are, on the one hand, expression of a certain degree of experimentation in this field and on the other hand, a product of the varying established institutional structures and diverse educative inclinations of the therapists. It is therefore appropriate to question the quality—or even the sufficiency—of the effectivity control, as well as of the evaluation of group treatments.

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