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Robertson, S. Davison, S. (1997). A Survey of groups within a Psychiatric Hospital. Psychoanal. Psychother., 11(2):119-134.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 11(2):119-134

A Survey of groups within a Psychiatric Hospital

Sarah Robertson and Susan Davison

The findings of a survey of the involvement of staff in group activities within a large psychiatric hospital are presented. Over two hundred regular group meetings were being held, excluding ward-rounds and business meetings. There was a wide variation in the type and structure of the groups, the purpose and theoretical underpinning of many of which were unclear to the participants. It is suggested that this lack of clarity reflects the fact that the original therapeutic aims have been subverted in the service of institutionalised defences against anxiety. To be therapeutically effective, groups need clear leadership, good supervision and well-defined aims.

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