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Shaskan, D.A. Plank, R. Blum, H.H. (1949). The Function of the Group. Psychoanal. Rev., 36(4):385-388.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Review, 36(4):385-388

The Function of the Group

Donald A. Shaskan, M.D., Robert Plank and Helen H. Blum

Three varieties of group psychotherapy compared in this clinic are psychodrama, eclectic group therapy, and Schilder's method as modified by Shaskan. Five distinct groups meet regularly. This presentation illustrates some of the dynamics found in the “permissive” group.

Paul Schilder, stressing analysis, emphasized the ability of the group to make unconscious material conscious, and the aid of the group in overcoming libidinal fixations.

This meeting (the seventh session) took place on April 23, 1947. Nine male patients, the psychiatrist (male), two psychiatric social workers (male and female) had been meeting twice a week. All patients had been undergoing individual therapy (mean of 9 interviews—variation 3 to 17 interviews), 8 patients receiving treatment with a psychiatric social worker, one with a psychologist under the supervision of the psychiatrists. The patients include neurotics of varying degree and mild psychotics.

Group Interview

Conflict Regarding Leaving Wife and Child. Mr. A.: Brings up the problem of leaving his wife and child in relationship to his chance of going to Alaska.

Conflict Regarding Sex and Women in General. Mr. B.: Talks about going steady with two girls, one on whom he has to spend a lot of money and with whom he has sex relations, and the other on whom he does not have to spend a lot of money and with whom he does not have sex relations.

Direct Expression of Hostility Toward Wife. Mr. C.: Tells about his wife taking the brunt of his anger since he is restless from being out on strike. He criticizes her and says, “It's a feeling that I want to tell her off.”

Anger or Fear When Woman Calls Him. Mr. D.: Becomes emotionally upset when a girl in the library calls him by name.

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