Authority and Authoritarianism in Group Psychotherapy

  • Emanuel Berman


Any form of psychotherapy involves the use of authority. The therapist is approached as an expert, and accepts the responsibility on account of his professional judgement that therapy may indeed be beneficial for the client. He also sets up the rules of the interaction (frequency, timing, length of sessions, fee, etc.), and suggests procedures which in his opinion will promote the effectiveness of the process (such as free associations, the use of relaxation techniques, the exploration of dreams, and so on). There is always an implicit expectation that the authority of the therapist in these areas will be respected by the client, and this basic respect is a cornerstone of the therapeutic alliance, even when hindered by negative emotions, by reactions of distrust or skepticism, and by many other responses defined as resistance.


Group Psychotherapy Group Leader Rational Authority Therapeutic Alliance Charismatic Leader 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emanuel Berman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Clinical PsychologyUniversity of HaifaIsrael
  3. 3.postgraduate Department of PsychotherapyTel Aviv UniversityIsrael

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