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In: Group Counselling

Chapter 1: Groups: History and Development

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Groups: History and Development
Groups: History and development

In this chapter I offer a brief history of groups, and distinguish between counselling groups across the three traditions or forces’ of psychology – the psychodynamic, the behavioural and the humanistic/existential. I introduce the conceptual distinctions between working in, through and of the group and the implications of such distinctions for practice. Finally, I discuss concepts of group development and illustrate their usefulness to the counsellor working in, through and with groups.

A Brief History of Groups

Although histories vary, it seems that Worcester, an associate of the psychologist James, and Pratt, an internist, were the first practitioners of group therapy. From 1905, they organised consumptive patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital Outpatient Clinic, Boston into groups or classes. In ...

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