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July 1967

The Technique of Married Couple Group Therapy

Author Affiliations

San Rafael, Calif
From the Institute on the Family, San Rafael, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(1):44-52. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730250046007

IN THE PAST DECADE, a score of Papers have appeared describing the experiences of various workers in treating married couples in groups. Most have been pleased with their experiment; a few have had serious reservations.

A review of the literature by Gottlied and Pattison1 revealed that most objections to the treatment of married couples, within or outside a group setting, stemmed from unnecessarily narrow commitment to psychoanalytic theory rather than from pragmatic considerations. The more operational concerns of those with an interpersonal or transactional approach—namely, that such treatments might result in either inhibition of group process by defensive pairing of the spouses in an anxious coalition against attempts at exploration of their neurotic interaction, or contrariwise, the destruction of a marriage through premature dissolution of the neurotic ties binding the couple together, intensification of neurotic acting out, or release