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Klapman, J.W. (1944). Some Impressions of Group Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Rev., 31(3):322-328.

(1944). Psychoanalytic Review, 31(3):322-328

Some Impressions of Group Psychotherapy

J. W. Klapman, M.D.

Results of group psychotherapy do not lend themselves well to statistical analysis. Moreover, as the group therapy is often given in conjunction with chemo or electrical shock treatment, the role of each agency cannot be exactly delineated. Even when this is not the case the critic can always point to the incidence of spontaneous improvements and recoveries.

We shall not attempt to disengage too sharply group psychotherapy from the possible unrelated factors which play a role in the improvement of the patient. It is also the position of this paper that clinical impressions about group psychotherapy are entitled to consideration however little statistical or laboratory evidence may be adduced in support.

A number of writers on the subject as Wender, Lazell, Harris, etc., have pointed out the obvious advantages of and need for group psychotherapy, especially in the large mental hospital. However, there are a number of considerations in the administration of group psychotherapy in the large institution that are deserving of considerable attention.

Despite the fact that the personality of the therapist may be an important factor in the treatment it is best not to relinquish it entirely to his whims and idiocyncracies. In other words, a large institution demands that it be included in the regular routine of the hospital, that, in short, it become one of the “services” just as anti-luetic or the “shock” therapies. This suggests, in the very nature of things, the need for an occasional change in therapists. Hence, the need for some degree of standardization of the subject material is suggested so that one therapist may take over without difficulty where another has left off.


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