The Phenomenology of Separation Difficulties in Group Psychotherapy
Comparatively little is being written about separation problems in group psychotherapy in relation to the importance of the problem and in comparison with the great attention paid to this question in the literature on individual psychotherapy. This difference is partly due to certain stereotypes (Foulkes1) which newer research is helping to destroy. According to these stereotypes, regression phenomena are the domain of individual psychotherapy and of dyadic relations, while the group by its very nature offers protection against a high degree of regression. However, it has been found that this is not necessarily the case. It can be said that Slav-son2,3 (1940, 1964), Wolf4 and Schwarz5 (1962) were among the first to discuss the problem of a dependent child in group psychotherapy. Slavson described his own technique of play group therapy, which enabled the dependent child to express his need for his mother through the medium of play materials and the group. The problem of dependence was indirectly approached by Wolf6 (1949) and Wolf and Schwartz (1962) with the technique known as “Going Around”. In this technique, each member of a group in turn takes on the chain of free associations started by his predecessor.
KeywordsGroup Psychotherapy Dependent Child Separation Problem Individual Psychotherapy Early Separation
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