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Rubinfine, D.L. (1954). Group Psychotherapy. Studies in the Methodology of Research and Therapy: By Florence B. Powdermaker, M.D. and Jerome D. Frank, M.D. Published for the Commonwealth Fund by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1953. 615 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:289-290.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:289-290

Group Psychotherapy. Studies in the Methodology of Research and Therapy: By Florence B. Powdermaker, M.D. and Jerome D. Frank, M.D. Published for the Commonwealth Fund by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1953. 615 pp.

Review by:
David L. Rubinfine

This large monograph reports a study of group therapy carried out under the direction of the Washington School of Psychiatry. Two groups of patients were studied: one group consisted of neurotic and schizophrenic clinic patients, the other of hospitalized chronic schizophrenic patients who had failed to respond to other therapies. The opening section is devoted to the methods of research, including techniques of observation of groups (each group included a 'non-participant' observer as well as a therapist), methods of recording group sessions, and the use of conferences between observer and therapist to deal with countertransference problems. Inferences about the composition of both successful and unsuccessful groups are presented. Terms such as 'rallying topics' and 'situation analysis' are defined. While it seems fair to expect new technical terms from a new discipline, the analyst will be struck by a rather obvious avoidance of analytic terminology even where long established concepts are involved.

The remainder of the text describes the process of group therapy, with valuable illustrations from group sessions. Antagonism toward the doctor and other group members, and types and handling of resistance are discussed. One section deals with therapy of schizophrenic groups, with chapters on such problems as rivalry, silences, hostility, and sexual manifestations. Throughout the book the doctor's role is heavily emphasized. Several summary appendices and charts are included.

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