Group Therapy In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Published in 1962, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest tells the story of Patrick McMurphy, a newly-admitted patient at a psychiatric hospital where individuals with various mental conditions are treated. Run primarily by Nurse Ratched, a demeaning autocrat who exhibits complete control over others, the patients are subjected to various forms of treatments and therapy with the intent of rehabilitation (Kesey 5). Most forms of treatment depicted in Kesey’s novel, such as group therapy, are an accurate representation of what typical psychiatric patients may encounter while under care at a mental facility. Yet others, particularly electroshock therapy and lobotomies, were quite controversial at the time of the novel’s publication. Such treatments were questioned for their effectiveness at improving patients’ condition – and while these procedures were still occasionally performed at the time, they often did not benefit the treated individual. Often painful and traumatic, these treatments physically degraded the patient’s mental status; and in extreme…show more content…
According to Virginia Brabender, co-author of Essentials of Group Therapy, this form of treatment involves “a small group of members and one or more therapists with specialized training [verbally communicating among each other] …it is designed to promote psychological growth” (Brabender 15). In practice, this method has been proven to be quite successful in treating psychiatric patients: “review studies…consistently reveal that group therapy is effective in producing positive changes” (Brabender 161). Furthermore, it has been determined that group therapy allows patients with different forms of mental disorders, including severe anxiety and PTSD, to see benefits in their esteem, satisfaction in life, and behavior (Brabender
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