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Fountain HouseCreating Community in Mental Health Practice$
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Alan Doyle, Julius Lanoil, and Kenneth Dudek

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157100

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157100.001.0001

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Insights from Activity Group Therapy

Insights from Activity Group Therapy

(p.3) 1 Insights from Activity Group Therapy
Fountain House

Alan Doyle

Julius Lanoil

Kenneth J. Dudek

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the development of activity group therapy (AGT), led by social work graduate, John Beard, and psychiatrist, Arthur J. Pearce. Like other mental health reformers, Beard and Pearce, together with their teammates, were appalled by the living conditions of people with mental illness housed in asylums. They eventually adopted a form of group work practice which they coined activity group therapy. AGT sought to restore the social functioning of patients, who remained in the ward, by involving them in everyday group activities. If successful, the team could extrapolate their findings and apply these to larger populations of patients suffering from mental illness. While applying AGT, the team observed that some patients retained their capacity for normal work when they left the hospital ward.

Keywords:   activity group therapy, AGT, John Beard, Arthur J. Pearce, mental health reform, social functioning

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