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By: Donelson R. Forsyth & Leann Terry Diederich

In: Handbook of Group Counseling & Psychotherapy

Chapter 3: Group Dynamics and Development

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Group Dynamics and Development
Group dynamics and development
Donelson R. ForsythLeann Terry Diederich

Groups are living systems of interdependent individuals. They acquire and expend energy, maintain their structures and functionalities, and they adapt to changing circumstances. Classical scholars, such as Machiavelli and Shakespeare, remarked on the transformational capacity of groups, for a group that begins as staid and compliant can become turbulent and tempestuous, just as one that seems so unified one day can become completely unglued the next. Theorists of the modern era, including Freud, Maslow, and Lewin, also offered explanations for the natural progression groups follow from founding to dissolution. Freud, for example, was impressed by the group's capacity to become unified, a feat he considered all the more impressive given the inherent selfishness ...

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