encounter group

noun Psychology.
a group of people who meet, usually with a trained leader, to increase self-awareness and social sensitivity, and to change behavior through interpersonal confrontation, self-disclosure, and strong emotional expression.

Origin:
1965–70

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World English Dictionary
encounter group
 
n
a group of people who meet in order to develop self-awareness and mutual understanding by openly expressing their feelings, by confrontation, physical contact, etc

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

encounter group en·coun·ter group (ěn-koun'tər)
n.
A psychotherapy group in which the participants try to increase their sensitivity and gain insight into their emotions by expressing their own emotions and responding to the emotions of others in the group.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

encounter group definition


A method of psychotherapy developed in the 1960s, in which a small group of people engages in intensive interactions to increase self-awareness and improve interpersonal relations. Group members are encouraged to be completely honest and open, reacting to one another with their immediate feelings, while exploring the entire range of emotions.

Note: Often associated with the radical social upheaval of the 1960s, encounter groups have been criticized for their potentially damaging effects, because many groups are led by people not professionally trained in psychotherapy.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Yet the entire production has the teeth-grinding earnestness of an amateur theatrical put on by a neighborhood encounter group.
He starts to listen to comments about his behavior in the encounter group and occasionally acknowledges the feedback.
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