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March 1969

Alcoholism: Group Psychotherapy and Rehabilitation.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(3):379-381. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740150123020

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This volume was difficult to read and review. I started it on a half dozen occasions, only to put it aside in favor of other reading. The reasons for this are multiple; some have to do with subject matter, some with the book, and some with the reviewer. In fairness, I will try to comment briefly on the first two and then put them aside for a more comprehensive overview of the book.

As the authors note repeatedly, alcoholics have proven a source of spectacular failure for traditional psychotherapeutic approaches. Most psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers have had, in the course of their training, at least one and perhaps many experiences of partial engagement, partial contact, and a frustrating chase of the willo'-the-wisp with what we label an alcoholic. Relatively few therapists will or can point to any "therapeutic triumph" involving an alcohol addict. One

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