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November 1976

Group Psychotherapy: A Long-term Follow-up Study

Author Affiliations

From The Tavistock Clinic, Belsize Lane, London.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(11):1303-1315. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770110031002

• Forty-two randomly selected patients were interviewed 2 to 14 years after termination of psychoanalytic group therapy. Comparison of psychodynamic changes in patients who stayed less than six months with those in patients who stayed more than two years gave a null result. The majority of patients were highly dissatisfied with their group experiences. However, there was a very strong positive correlation between favorable outcome and previous individual psychotherapy.

Thirteen patients were then studied who were selected by their group therapists as having done well. These patients gave strong evidence of beneficial therapeutic effects, but such patients appear to be rare.

These results (1) suggest how this form of treatment might be improved, and (2) raise questions about the appropriateness of transferring to group treatment the strictly psychoanalytic approach as used with individuals.

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