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Rosenthal, L. (1992). The Group Therapy Experience: From Ttheroy to practice. Louis R. Ormont. New York: St. Matrtin's Press, 1992. 256 pp.. Mod. Psychoanal., 17(2):263-266.

(1992). Modern Psychoanalysis, 17(2):263-266

Book Reviews

The Group Therapy Experience: From Ttheroy to practice. Louis R. Ormont. New York: St. Matrtin's Press, 1992. 256 pp.

Review by:
Leslie Rosenthal

The essence of the experience of group therapy is cogently and richly presented in this distillation of the author's forty-year involvement in group analysis, The book's clarion call is heard clearly throughout and is offered in vivid clinical illustration: It is the quality of the members' in vivo emotional contact and communication with each other rather than the leaders' verbal contributions that underlie the therapeutic effectiveness of group psychotherapy. “The aim of group analysis is to utilize all the players” (p. 28).

Most of the book is devoted to delineating the methods and strategies deployed to achieve a meanigful level of emotional exchange. Principle among these is “bridging,” which refers to techniques geared to the evocation of significant verbal communication between group members—with a view to developing emotional connections which did not previously exist and establishing a network of inter connectedness amonst the separate members of the group. Ormont illustrates the use of bridging questions with a group which has bogged down with frequent silences, fidgeting and boredom. “George, how do you feel about Edna's opening and closing her purse while Frank is talking?” “Jack, why that look of impatience whenever Marty starts talking to Al?”

Ormont also shows how the reporting of external events is effectively brought into the here-and-now fabric of the group.

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