What is group psychotherapy?

Australian Association of Group Psychotherapists (AAGP) has uploaded "a comprehensive question-and-answer discussion of Group Therapy:

  • Who can benefit?

  • How are groups run and what are the structures?,

  • What are the different kinds of groups?

  • How are groups helpful?

Irvin Yalom - Therapeutic Factors (from The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy​

  1. Universality - The recognition of shared experiences and feelings reduces isolation, validates experiences, and raises self-esteem

  2. Altruism - Being able to give something to another person can lift self esteem and help develop more adaptive interpersonal skills

  3. Instillation of hope - In a group with members at various stages of development, a member can be by other members

  4. Imparting information - Learning factual information from other members in the group.

  5. Corrective recapitulation of the primary family experience - The therapist's interpretations of members’ unconscious identification of the therapist and group members with their parents/siblings in a transference helps members gain insight

  6. Development of socialising 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

  7. Imitative behaviour - Group members can develop skills through modelling, observing the therapist and group members

  8. Cohesiveness - Development takes place in an interpersonal context. A cohesive group is one in which all members feel a sense of belonging, acceptance, and validation

  9. Existential factors - Learning that one has to take responsibility for one's own life and the consequences of one's decisions

  10. Catharsis - Relief from chronic shame and guilt through the uninhibited expression to a supportive audience

  11. Interpersonal learning - Self-awareness through the process of interacting with and getting feedback from other group members

  12. Self-understanding - Achievement of greater levels of insight and the unconscious motivations that underlie behaviour

Irvin Yalom Outpatient Group Psychotherapy Video

Group Therapy: A Live Demonstration Video.

A demonstration of Yalom's book, The Schopenhauer Cure, about a cast of characters involved in group therapy, and in this video, these actors assumed the roles of the characters and acted them out (improv style) in front of a large audience, in the form of group therapy.

Dr. Yalom explains “The Evolution of Therapy” during his keynote address at the Talkspace Future of Therapy Conference 2016. In this interview by Dr. Iris Reitzes, Irvin Yalom reflects on the concept of death in psychotherapy, his career as an author and psychotherapist, and the role of technology in the future of psychotherapy.

S. H Foulkes - Group analysis

S. H. Foulkes lecture part 1 (History & Basic Principles)

S. H. Foulkes lecture part 2 (Therapeutic Processes)

Wilfred Bion -

In short, the therapist works with the group as a whole, rather than to the individual members, as the unit.

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