The Challenge for Group Psychotherapy


The Publications Committee of the International Institute for Mental Health Research wishes to express its thanks to the editor of this volume, Dr. Stefan de Schill. The search for and investigation of new ideas and different approaches has led Dr. de Schill to undertake the work necessary to assemble the papers of this book, hoping that mental health professionals all over the world will be stimulated to fresh thinking and more effective service to the emotionally ill.

It was my privilege to witness the brilliant, always carefully thought-out ways in which Dr. de Schill, in his capacity as Director of Research of the American Mental Health Foundation, explored and experimented with the innumerable facets of individual and group psychotherapy, constantly seeking better theoretical formulations and techniques.

Many of these findings have been incorporated into the intensive, low-cost treatment method developed by the Foundation. Thus, in the course of almost a century, psychoanalytic therapy has traveled a full circle, or—perhaps more accurately—an upward spiral. From the six hours per week individual analysis of Freud, severely limited to a small number of sufferers from emotional illness, we have come now to the six hours per week of psychoanalytic group therapy—divided into two sessions—that form the basis of the Foundation method. This treatment form—also described in the volume—offers intensive and effective help to a wide spectrum of emotionally disturbed people at a fraction of the usual cost of psychoanalytic treatment. Thus, an important step has been achieved by the pioneers of group methods, quite a number of whom have contributed to this volume.—Dr. David Gerst, Chairman, Publications Committee, International Institute for Mental Health Research