September 1966

Compatibility and Cohesiveness in Therapy Groups

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(3):267-275. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730150043007

OF THE many variables influencing the course of group therapy, one of the most salient is the cohesiveness of the group. This is the report of a research inquiry into one of the important determinants of cohesiveness in therapy groups.

Cohesiveness in Small Groups  Whatever their structure or function, all small groups may be described in terms of their cohesiveness, which has been defined as "the attraction of membership in a group for its members"1 or "the resultant forces acting on members' stay in a group."2 (p 74) In broadest terms cohesiveness refers to the solidarity or esprit de corps of a group. Because it so heavily influences group outcome, cohesiveness has been the subject of a vast amount of social psychological research. Such research has shown, for example, that highly cohesive groups are more productive.2 (chap 8),3 The members of highly cohesive

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