August 1961

Group Psychotherapy with Obese Women

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(2):156-168. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710140048008

This is a report on psychoanalytic group psychotherapy with a group of obese women over a limited period of time. Obesity is perhaps the most common way of reacting to difficulties and has been extensively studied by many disciplines. The role of obesity in cardiovascular disease, digestive difficulties, joint pains, and other disorders, has been widely discussed. The relative ineffectiveness of most outpatient nonpsychiatric treatment for obesity has recently been documented.13 It has been established that different types of obesity seem to be associated with different kinds of psychiatric illnesses.9 One report of a psychotherapy experience with a 13-year-old obese girl concluded that obesity can have its dynamic roots on each level of psychosexual development.6

Group psychotherapy has been used to treat obesity in groups which appreared to be psychiatrically normal. One therapy group conducted by a psychologist involved 15 group sessions

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