encounter group

encounter group

encounter group: see group psychotherapy.

An Encounter group is a form of group psychotherapy that emerged with the popularization of humanistic psychology in the 1960s. The work of Carl Rogers (founding father of person centered counseling) is central to this move away from psycho analytical groups towards the humanistic encounter group

Such groups (also called "T" (training) groups and "sensitivity training" groups) explored new models of interpersonal communication and the intensification of psychological experience. The first groups were experimental efforts by health researchers and workers, trying to move away from the "sickness" groupwork model used in the psychiatric industries of the time. In later years, these pioneering groups evolved into educational and treatment schemes for non-psychiatric people.

A commercialized strand of the encounter group movement developed into Large Group Awareness Training.

Further reading

  • Encounter Groups, Carl Rogers, 1970

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