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Stein, A. (1962). The Couch and the Circle. A Story of Group Psychotherapy: By Hyman Spotnitz, M.D. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1961. 274 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 31:409-411.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:409-411

The Couch and the Circle. A Story of Group Psychotherapy: By Hyman Spotnitz, M.D. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1961. 274 pp.

Review by:
Aaron Stein

The subtitle of this book indicates in a general way its nature. In his preface the author states, '… feeling the need for a nontechnical exposition of group treatment, I have been aware of a keen desire to share the enthusiasm and interest kindled by my practice with the general public. Written in this spirit, the book subordinates theoretical concepts and techniques to impressions of human beings working together.' The result, written in an appealing style, is a description of certain aspects of group psychotherapy from the point of view of the author.

The book is divided into three parts. In the first, Spotnitz describes his first psychotherapeutic group and how he came to the decision to use group psychotherapy. He then gives an excellent history of the development of group psychotherapy as a form of psychiatric treatment, designating this development, The Third Psychiatric Revolution.

The second part describes group psychotherapy. It indicates the role of the therapist and the nature of the patients' relationship to the therapist—'The Phantom Figure' as he is called—particularly in regard to transference reactions.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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