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CONTROL PROBLEMS IN GROUP THERAPY WITH AGGRESSIVE ADOLESCENT BOYS IN A MENTAL HOSPITAL
BELINDA STRAIGHT; SIDNEY L. WERKMAN
Am J Psychiatry 1958;114:998-1001.
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Children's Hosp., Washington, D. C.

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Abstract

This paper deals with group therapy of 8 adolescent boys in a mental hospital. The group was dominated by the impulse-ridden acting out destructive members. How to keep the group going with these boys who were bent on destroying it became the therapists' central problem. The theme of most of the sessions was "I just care about my own self." Pillars of treatment were 1. sameness of meeting place, time and therapists and attendant; 2. relatively bare room with strong furniture; 3. individualization of limits; 4. active intervention in fights and withdrawals from the group; 5. the use of tangible incentives for remaining in the group, that is, extra activities planned such as games and parties with the girls. Special difficulties for the therapists in working with such a group were discussed.

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