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


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.


Medical School Mental Health Professional Group Relation Training Activity Emotional Impact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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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

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