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Notes on Unstructured Groups at Lake Arrowhead1

Maybe even the discovery of identity of self is helped along more by being given feedback from a whole group of other people of how I affect them, what influence I have on them, how they see me and so on.

I have many impressions, in fact a whole confusion of them, and it will take time for them all to settle down and structure themselves. However, I want to fix some of them before they disappear. Some of them were made a little stronger by an article by Charles Ferguson in the California Management Review.2 Ferguson’s stress on the fact that the group was unstructured really helped to give form to many of my own vague thoughts. Once I started comparing these groups—their effect and phenomena—with the characteristics of the Rorschach tests and other projective and unstructured tests, I began to see the relationship between the lack of structuring in the psychoanalytic situation and in the groups. Also apparent was the relationship to the Taoistic philosophy of permissiveness and noninterference—letting things happen of their own accord and in their own style.

This also suggested a parallel with Carl Rogers’ nondirectiveness, and here again, I could understand pretty well how this should bring the kind of results that it does.3 All these parallels made the T-groups much more understandable to me at once. I could integrate them with ...

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