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Marmarosh, C. Whipple, R. Pinhas, S. Schettler, M. Wolf, J. Sayit, S. Wohl, R. (2009). Patients' Adult Attachments and Attitudes about Group Therapy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(2):423-431.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(2):423-431

Patients' Adult Attachments and Attitudes about Group Therapy

Cheri Marmarosh, Rachel Whipple, Sandra Pinhas, Melanie Schettler, Jami Wolf, Sinan Sayit and Roi Wohl

Attachment theory (Bowlby 1969, 1973, 1980, 1989) proposes that early attachment experiences with significant caregivers during early childhood provide internal working models of self and others that guide behavior and relationships. To build upon his theory, many researchers have attempted to measure these internal working models and to understand how they develop, are maintained, change, and influence a variety of human interactions.

A number of empirical studies have applied attachment theory to individual psychotherapy and psychoanalysis (for reviews, see Slade 1999; Daniel 2006) and found that it facilitates the understanding of the working alliance (Mallinckrodt 2000), countertransference (Ligiero and Gelso 2002; Mohr, Gelso, and Hill 2005), transference (Woodhouse et al. 2003), and treatment outcome (Diamond et al. 2003; Fonagy et al. 1996; Majors and Marmarosh 2005; Levy et al. 2006; Shorey and Snyder 2006), as well as the specific attachment relationship clients have with their therapist (Mallinckrodt, Gantt, and Coble 1995; Mallinckrodt, Porter, and Kivlighan 2005). Although the empirical study of attachment theory as it relates to individual treatment has received much attention, its application to group psychotherapy is just gaining recognition (Kilmann, Urbaniak, and Parnell 2006; McClusky 2002; Shechtman and Dvir 2006; Shechtman and Rybko 2004).

The capacity for group therapy patients to depend on the group and join the therapy group has been a major focus of the group therapy literature.

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