January 1960

Leadership Hunger in a Therapy Group

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the Department of Group Psychotherapy of the Mount Zion Hospital Psychiatric Clinic.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(1):75-80. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590070077008

Introduction  The power of emotion which a group may display toward its leader frequently comes as a surprise. In many instances it is hard to give a reasonable explanation for such feeling. It can exceed in depth the emotions that might be accounted for on the basis of preference for the personality of the leader. Nor can it be supposed in every instance that the leader’s usefulness in organizing and directing group affairs is responsible for his surpassing importance. What appears to be the cause of the group’s attachment to its leader is a primary need of urgent and vital significance. It appears that this need is more fundamental than any purely rational or practical justification for it.In clinical practice the nature of emotional tendencies often is not brought to light until they are subject to deprivation. Only under conditions of deprivation may the power of the need and the extent of its influence become apparent. If a group

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