Groups as Organisms: Implications for Therapy and Training


The intellectual tradition of individualism treats the individual person as the fundamental unit of analysis and reduces all things social to the motives and actions of individuals. Most methods in clinical psychology are influenced by individualism and therefore treat the individual as the primary object of therapy/training, even when recognizing the importance of nurturing social relationships for individual wellbeing. Multilevel selection theory offers an alternative to individualism in which individuals become part of something larger than themselves that qualifies as an organism in its own right. Seeing individuals as parts of social organisms provides a new perspective with numerous implications for improving wellbeing at all scales, from individuals to the planet.

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