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Use of Group Balance as a Therapeutic Technique

ARTHUR S. SAMUELS, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(4):411-420. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720280067008.
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Therapeutic progress in a group depends not only upon the skill of the therapist and the potentialities of the members, but also on the quality of constructive interaction that occurs. In a psychoanalytically oriented group, a myriad of conscious and unconscious factors determine whether one member will have a stimulating or inhibiting effect upon another in coping with his problems. This discussion concerns itself with the concept and technique of group balance, which can be useful in helping us to gain some control over these determinants.

Balancing a group consists of offsetting or complementing with those of another individual the dynamic effects set into play by facets of an individual's personality and psychic needs. For example, in certain phases of the analysis of a passive individual, the assertiveness inhibited within him may be tapped more readily by the presence in the group of an aggressive person

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