Social psychiatry

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 7–12 | Cite as

The effect of social systems on group relations training

  • Edward B. Klein
  • Mary E. Correa
  • Steven R. Howe
  • Walter N. Stone
Aspects of Psychotherapy

Summary

Two Tavistock group relations conferences were held for mental health professionals in different social systems: a university and a medical school. Three-month follow-up studies were conducted. When compared with those attending the medical school conference, members of the university conference reported that they participated more in the application group and conference discussion, learned more in the intergroup event and about how the group effects task performance, that the emotional impact of the conference was greater, and were more likely to recommend the training to a friend. A social systems analysis of the conferences is offered as a way of accounting for these results. The conferences differed with regard to: 1. sponsorship, legitimacy and support of training activities; 2. heterogeneity of learning opportunities, an indication of systems openness and 3. authority and sentient linkages between members and staff. The more positive responses of the university participants probably had to do with multiple departmental sponsors, a heterogeneous environment, and outside authority and sentient ties. The less positive responses of the medical school members most likely were due to sponsorship by only one discipline, low systems openness, and a lack of sentient and authority linkages between members and staff.

Keywords

Medical School Mental Health Professional Group Relation Training Activity Emotional Impact 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Arsenian J, Semrad EV, Shapiro D (1962) An analysis of integral functions in small groups. Int J Group Psychother 12: 421–434Google Scholar
  2. Bion WH (1959) Experiences in groups. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Bunker DR, Knowles ES (1967) Comparison of behavioral changes resulting from human relations training laboratories of different lengths. J Appl Behav Sci 3: 505–523Google Scholar
  4. Correa ME, Klein EB, Howe SR, Stone WN (1981) A bridge between training and practice: mental health professionals' learning in group relations conferences. Soc Psychiatry 16: 137–142Google Scholar
  5. Frank JD (1957) Some determinants, manifestations, and effects of cohesiveness in therapy groups. Int J Group Psychother 7: 53–63Google Scholar
  6. Joseph DI, Klein EB, Astrachan BM (1975) Responses of mental health trainees to a group relations conference: understanding from a systems perspective. Soc Psychiatry 10: 79–85Google Scholar
  7. Klein EB (1977) Transference in groups. J Pers Soc Systems 1: 53–63Google Scholar
  8. Klein EB (1978) An overview of recent Tavistock work in the United States. In: Cooper CL, Alderfer C (eds) Advances in experiential social processes. John Wiley, New York, pp 182–202Google Scholar
  9. Klein EB, Gould LJ (1973) Boundary issues and organizational dynamics: a case study. Soc Psychiatry 4: 204–211Google Scholar
  10. Klein M (1959) Our adult world and its roots in infancy. Hum Relations 12: 291–303Google Scholar
  11. Kolb DA (1974) On management and the learning process. In: Kolb DA, Rubin IM, McIntyre JM (eds) Organizational psychology: a book of readings. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  12. Miller EJ (1980) The politics of involvement. J Pers Soc Systems 2: 37–50Google Scholar
  13. Miller EJ, Gwynne J (1972) A life apart. Tavistock, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Miller EJ, Rice AK (1969) Systems of organization. Tavistock, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Rice AK (1970) The modern university. Tavistock, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Rioch MJ (1977) The A. K. Rice Group Relations Conference as a reflection of society. J Pers Soc Systems 1: 1–16Google Scholar
  17. Rogers C (1960) Freedom to learn. Merrill, Columbus, OHGoogle Scholar
  18. Singer DL, Astrachan BM, Gould LJ, Klein EB (1975) Boundary management in psychological work with groups. J Appl Behav Sci 11: 137–176Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward B. Klein
    • 1
  • Mary E. Correa
    • 1
  • Steven R. Howe
    • 1
  • Walter N. Stone
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations