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Marathon Group Dynamics: II. Dimensions Of Helpfulness: Therapeutic Aggression

George R. Bach

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Participants in nine “Marathon” intensive interaction groups were asked to choose the “most helpful” and “least helpful” members and also provide Self and Other ratings of the quality of helping and non-helping intermember contact. A computer-aided word indexing of natural language protocols, descriptive of helpful relationships in therapeutic groups, served as an aid to obtaining five dimensions of maximal helpfulness and five for least helpfulness. Sociometric-like questionnaire items, representing these dimensions, were answered by 112 participants of Marathon subgroups. The responses support the idea that AGGRESSION-CONFRONTATION between participants in group therapy contributes as significantly as does Warmth-Acceptance to the therapeutic value of group interaction.