Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


The optimum modality for treating preschool age children with behavioral and emotional problems is uncertain. One study showed that children with good ego strength respond to psychotherapy independent of whether it is group or individual psychotherapy, provided that a minimum period of psychotherapy occurs (ovick, 1965). The literature has demonstrated that parent training, individual play therapy, and group therapy are all effective modes of treatment with children (Axline, 1969; Moreland, et ai, 1983; Pesco solido & Petrella, 1986). Due to the limited psychiatric resources in the military setting and increasing demand for service, the option for individual therapy may be restricted to specific neurotic clinical diagnoses. We studied the efficacy of short term group treatment applicable to behavior ally and emotionally disordered children, ages 4 through 6 years. In a review of various group treatments, the number of sessions ranged from 10 to 15 (Abramowitz, 1976). In another study, the mean n umber of hours needed to produce therapeutic benefits in parent training was 9.5 (Forehand, et al, 1979). All of the treatments to be considered are structured around a group principal to allow more patients to be treated for the same clinician time expenditure. Our study compared parent training, to group play therapy, and a project group on a population of behaviorally or emotionally disordered children, ages 4 to 6. The groups themselves ran for eight weeks, 75 minutes each week, along with 50-minute pre and post sessions with each set of parents. Total clinical time was approximately 24 hours per group for both therapists.

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