Psychotherapy and Group
The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy”. Moreno developed a specific and highly structured form of group therapy known as Psychodrama. Another recent development is the theory and method of group psychotherapy based on an integration of systems thinking is Yvonne Agazarian’s “systems-Centered” approach (SCT), which sees groups functioning within the principles of system dynamics.
Her method of “functional subgrouping” introduces a method of organizing group communication so it is less likely to react counterproductively to differences. SCT also emphasizes the need to recognize the phases of group development and the defenses related to each phase in order to best make sense and influence group dynamics. Furthermore the psychoanalytic concept of the unconscious was extended with a recognition of a group unconscious, in which the unconscious processes of group members could be acted out in the form of irrational processes in group sessions.
Psychotherapy and Group Essay Example
Foulkes developed the model known as Group Analysis and the Institute of Group Analysis, while Bion was influential in the development of group therapy at the Tavistock Clinic. Bion has been criticised, by Yalom, for his technical approach which had an exclusive focus on analysis of whole-group processes to the exclusion of any exploration of individual group members’ issues. Despite this, his recognition of group defences in the “Basic Assumption Group”, has been highly influential.
Universality The recognition of shared experiences and feelings among group members and that these may be widespread or universal human concerns, serves to remove a group member’s sense of isolation, validate their experiences, and raise self-esteem Altruism The group is a place where members can help each other, and the experience of being able to give something to another person can lift the member’s self esteem and help develop more adaptive coping styles and interpersonal skills. Instillation of hope
In a mixed group that has members at various stages of development or recovery, a member can be inspired and encouraged by another member who has overcome the problems with which they are still struggling. Imparting information While this is not strictly speaking a psychotherapeutic process, members often report that it has been very helpful to learn factual information from other members in the group. For example, about their treatment or about access to services. Corrective recapitulation of the primary family experience
Members often unconsciously identify the group therapist and other group members with their own parents and siblings in a process that is a form of transference specific to group psychotherapy. The therapist’s interpretations can help group members gain understanding of the impact of childhood experiences on their personality, and they may learn to avoid unconsciously repeating unhelpful past interactive patterns in present-day relationships. Development of socializing techniques
The group setting provides a safe and supportive environment for members to take risks by extending their repertoire of interpersonal behaviour and improving their social skills Imitative behaviour One way in which group members can develop social skills is through a modeling process, observing and imitating the therapist and other group members. For example, sharing personal feelings, showing concern, and supporting others. Cohesiveness It has been suggested that this is the primary therapeutic factor from which all others flow. A cohesive group is one in which all members feel a sense of belonging, acceptance, and validation.
Existential factors Learning that one has to take responsibility for one’s own life and the consequences of one’s decisions. Catharsis Experience of relief from emotional distress through the free and uninhibited expression of emotion. When members tell their story to a supportive audience, they can obtain relief from chronic feelings of shame and guilt. Interpersonal learning Group members achieve a greater level of self-awareness through the process of interacting with others in the group, who give feedback on the member’s behaviour and impact on others. Self-understanding
This factor overlaps with interpersonal learning but refers to the achievement of greater levels of insight into the genesis of one’s problems and the unconscious motivations that underlie one’s behaviour. Settings Group therapy can form part of the therapeutic milieu of a psychiatric in-patient unit or ambulatory psychiatric Partial hospitalization (also known as Day Hospital treatment) In addition to classical “talking” therapy, group therapy in an institutional setting can also include group-based expressive therapies such as drama therapy, psychodrama, art therapy, and non-verbal types of therapy such as music therapy.
Group psychotherapy is a key component of Milieu Therapy in a Therapeutic Community. The total environment or milieu is regarded as the medium of therapy, all interactions and activities regarded as potentially therapeutic and are subject to exploration and interpretation, and are explored in daily or weekly community meetings A form of group therapy has been reported to be effective in psychotic adolescents and recovering addicts.
Projective psychotherapy uses an outside text such as a novel or motion picture to provide a “stable delusion” for the former cohort and a safe focus for repressed and suppressed emotions or thoughts in the latter. Patient groups read a novel or collectively view a film. They then participate collectively in the discussion of plot, character motivation and author motivation. In the case of films, sound track, cinematography and background are also discussed and processed. Under the guidance of the therapist, defense mechanisms are bypassed by the use of signifiers and semiotic processes.
The focus remains on the text rather than on personal issues.  It was popularized in the science fiction novel, Red Orc’s Rage. Group therapy is now often utilized in private practice settings (Gardenswartz, 2009, Los Angeles, CA). Good outcomes have also been demonstrated for this form of group therapy.