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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Group methods in a treatment home for girls : analytical study of the group work contributions of Warrendale (Newmarket, Ontario) 1957 Cutcher, Allen Charles


This thesis is a descriptive analysis of a milieu programme, giving specific attention to its groupwork methods and contributions which is in operation at Warrendale, a residential treatment home for emotionally disturbed girls situated in Newmarket, Ontario. Against a brief history of the institution, it gives the theoretical basis of the work done with children, using the milieu concept as pioneered by Fritz Redl and Bruno Bettleheim. The institution uses caseworkers and groupworkers as residential staff, dealing directly with the children, but only the group work aspects of the programme are considered here. Three aspects of the total milieu are considered; (a) routines and rules; (b) leisure-time activities and the community; (c) discipline and problem-handling. Parts of the life of the institution are illustrated and analyzed in relation to the various therapeutic goals of the institution; (a) tension reduction; (b) individuality; (c) gaining relationships; (d) expression and release of feelings. The value of these three aspects are also considered for their diagnostic value. The contribution and use of group skills in the milieu setting are considered in the light of the therapeutic goals mentioned above. The group session is the principal technique considered, and the interpretive and goal setting values of group sessions are brought out. The significance of celebrating social festivities and the special uses of group sessions as expressive media are also exemplified as a part of group skills. The overall contributions, and possibilities of improvement, are summarized in a concluding chapter.

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