chapter  6
19 Pages

The large group as a medium for sociotherapy

WithJ. Stuart Whiteley

The large group of 50 or so patients which is a common feature of the psychiatric hospital usually meets with 5 or 6 representatives of the therapeutic staff from the different professional disciplines. Understanding the differences and appreciating what each approach has to offer in the large group setting, leads to a more profitable application of either technique. Sociotherapy has become a specific treatment process rather than just a liberal and humanitarian treatment attitude. In the wider field of psychiatric treatment this was also the period when tranquillising and anti-depressant drugs came into being. In the foregoing 'the large group' has been taken to refer to the total therapeutic community. The large number present leads to some competition for attention and immaturity of behaviour so that one's weaker points are exposed if one elects to take part. The progress of an individual through a fairly deliberately structured and emotionally stressful therapeutic situation such as this follows a typical course.