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Transference Dynamics of Group Psychotherapy

MARK P. FARRELL JR., M.D.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;6(1):66-76. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01710190068008.
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Introduction  The rapid growth of the use of group psychotherapy has far surpassed the rate of evolution of sound, generally accepted theories as to the dynamics of the experiences in treatment groups which are actually therapeutic.1 In answering the question "What is specifically therapeutic in a group treatment setting?" the tendency has arisen among group therapists to differentiate ourselves from individual therapists as to theoretical orientation and to devise unique formulations and concepts to explain group phenomena.2-4 In doing this, we have tended to disregard accepted postulates used in individual therapy which may be potentially useful. One such underutilized concept is that of transference.It is well documented and accepted in the annals of individual psychotherapy that the understanding and working through of transference reactions is the fundamental and major experience in individual psychotherapy which is therapeutic. It is my contention that transference

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