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October 1969

Acute Psychosis Precipitated by T-Group Experiences

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and the Community Mental Health Service, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(4):443-448. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740220059006

THE T-group has become increasingly popular in our psychologically oriented society. The development of a more complete understanding of its effects upon the participants seems warranted at this time. Recently we have had the opportunity to study two patients each of whom suffered an acute transient psychosis precipitated by an intensive T-group experience. In one instance, the psychiatric picture was supplemented by a detailed reconstruction of the T-group experience itself. We present this material in an attempt to learn more about the possible negative effects of T-groups and the psychodynamics of individuals for whom the T-group experience has proven hazardous.

The purposes and methods of the T-group have been well described by Bradford et al1:

A T-group is a relatively unstructured group in which individuals participate as learners. The data for learning are not outside these individuals or remote from their immediate experience within the T-group. The data are

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