A comment on my another post ("that I continue to learn and grow", does this expression sound natural?) mentioned a term encounter group

I have a bit difficulties when learning that term.

Proponents of the encounter group form of psychotherapy tend to believe that the behavior of an individual is shaped to a very large degree by responsive adaptation to the attitudes of other individuals, and that encounter groups enable individuals to discover and modify behavior that is perceived as inappropriate.

I am aware that the subject of the sentence above is "Proponents", and "the encounter group form of psychotherapy" modifies the subject.

I also understand the meaning of "Proponents of the encounter group", a group of people that advocate "encounter group".

I cannot understand the structure of the phrase "Proponents of the encounter group form of psychotherapy", in particular, does "form of psychotherapy" modifies "encounter group"?

1 Answer 1


"The encounter group form of psychotherapy" is apparently a type of psychotherapy.

I understand this sentence to mean:

Proponents of psychotherapy (the encounter group type)

It could be compared with this example:

I like the strawberry-flavoured bubble gum.

This would mean the person likes bubble gum, but specifically the strawberry-flavoured.

Most people would not use the definite article when saying things like this. They would more likely just say:

I like strawberry-flavoured bubble gum.

I don't know why this particular kind of psychotherapy referred to in your question is not just called "encounter group psychotherapy". Perhaps it is not yet established enough to be called that as a name, but if it were then your sentence could just have said:

Proponents of encounter group psychotherapy

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