Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Group Therapy

  • Jeffrey G. KuentzelAffiliated withWayne State University Email author 
  • , Elise K. HodgesAffiliated with Department of Psychiatry, Neuropsychology Division, University of Michigan Health System


Group therapy (or group counseling) is a form of psychotherapeutic intervention characterized by a group format (i.e., several patients meeting with a therapist together).

Historical Background

Though nonclinical forerunners of group psychological interventions, such as mass religious or political movements, have taken place for millennia, it is believed that the first therapeutic groups conducted by physicians occurred in the early twentieth century (Rosenbaum and Patterson 1995). Joseph Pratt is recognized for having initiated therapy groups as early as 1905. Pratt led “thought control classes,” inspirational lectures, and group discussions with hospitalized tuberculosis patients, in Boston, Massachusetts (Barlow et al. 2005). Pratt sought to increase adherence with medical regimens in his patients but also found that his group meetings resulted in strengthened hope for recovery and lifting of morale. Around the same time, J. L. Moreno was beginning the development o ...

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