I feel it a responsibility, and a considerable honour, to have been asked to write a short Foreword to this book. Personally, I find myself in the position of one of those psychotherapists for whom the book is particularly written -- which is largely why I welcome this record of Dr. Foulkes' experience and ideas.
During the recent war I was a very frequent visitor to the Northfield Military Hospital, and I saw quite enough of the new developments in psychotherapeutic work there to convince me that they were profitable and capable of much development in the post-war period. Dr. Foulkes' work impressed me and interested me. It was particularly satisfactory to find that work which had been begun on civilian groups and mixed groups of men and women before the war could be adapted to the needs of men in the British Army so satisfactorily.
In some ways, the concept of the group is a very old one. Where two or three are gathered together for a common purpose, something happens; and there are many records of the effects of groups, whether the Methodist class-meeting or more recent group movements; but none of these have provided any study of group dynamics.
Necessity has forced us towards the idea of experimenting with group treatment, and in so doing we have fortunately been able to discover a number of men who by their training and interest are capable of this kind of research into the dynamics of group relations and the ways in which these can be applied for therapeutic ends. We have far to go before we find any solution of the almost overwhelming problem of providing treatment for all those who are emotionally sick and in need of psychological help.
This book, however, written as it is in an easy and readable style, well documented and thoroughly practical, will quite certainly provide stimulation and be a source book for many