A brief history of group psychotherapy Early beginnings

Group psychotherapy began at the turn of the century when Joseph Pratt, a Boston physician, recognized the positive effects of bringing together patients with tuberculosis who did not have access to sanitoria. Their recovery required strict hygienic regimes in their impoverished homes. Using regular group meetings he educated his patients as to how to combat the disease, and he became the central idealized figure as they shared him with each other. (15> Other innovative psychiatrists also influenced regimes in mental hospitals through inspirational and educational methods. Cody Marsh, a psychiatrist related to Buffalo Bill Cody, even included tap dancing classes in his hospital, developing his regime under the adage, 'By the crowd they have been broken; by the crowd they shall be healed'. (16) The role of the charismatic leader and the dynamics of group leadership was later elucidated by Freud ^Z) and then applied by Redl to groups in educational settings. (18>

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