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Group Therapy

Group Therapy

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Group Therapy

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  1. Group Therapy

  2. Group Therapy • More than simultaneous treatment for several individuals • Advantages of group therapy: • Economy: group therapy is less expensive • Group support: there is comfort in knowing that others have similar problems • Feedback: group members learn from each other • Behavioral rehearsal: group members can role-play the activities of the key persons in a member’s life

  3. Group Therapy First practiced at the beginning of the 20th century by Joseph Pratt in Boston • Worked with tuberculosis patients

  4. Group Therapy • Use stimulated by the shortage of trained therapists after WWII • Every major model of clinical psychology offers group therapy also popular with nonprofessional, self- help organizations (weight-control, AA, NA, etc.)

  5. Group Therapy • No consensus as to a uniform process of group therapy • Most therapists emphasize the importance of interpersonal relationships and assume that personal maladjustment involves difficulties with interpersonal relationships

  6. Yalom’s Curative Factors • Common to most, if not all, group therapies • Sharing new information • Instilling hope • Universality • Altruism • Interpersonal learning • Recapitulation of the primary family • Group cohesiveness

  7. The Practice of Group Therapy • Groups usually consist of 6-12 members • If too small – lack of universality and cohesiveness • If too large – mechanical feedback, lack of sensitivity

  8. The Practice of Group Therapy • Duration • May be on-going or time-limited Each session usually lasts longer than sessions in individual therapy – 2 hours is common

  9. Homogeneity vs. Heterogeneity • Major issue • Homogeneous membership – more direct focus on shared problems • Heterogeneous groups – easier to form, wider diversity (more like general society)

  10. Marital & Family Therapy

  11. Marital & Family Therapy • Marital and family discord are 2 of the most common problems encountered by clinical psychologists • Approximately 50% divorce rate • Child abuse, adolescent suicide, runaways, substance abuse, etc.

  12. Marital Therapy • Often called couples therapy due to societal changes • The client is the relationship, not the individuals in that relationship • the goal is to save the relationship

  13. Marital Therapy • MT can be preceded by, followed or accompanied by individual psychotherapy for one or both members, or can stand alone • Individual therapy is indicated when one member is suffering from a problem largely unrelated to the relationship

  14. Marital Therapy • The need for couples therapy usually arises out of the conflicting expectations and needs of the couple • Common areas of conflict: sexual satisfaction, personal autonomy, communication, intimacy, money management, fidelity, expression of disagreement/hostility

  15. Marital Therapy • Common theme among marital therapists – emphasis on problem solving: learning to work together, communication and negotiation • Changing not only the way a couple talks to each other, but how they think about their relationship • Decreased fault-finding and blaming • Increasing mutual responsibility • Maintaining a here-and-now focus • Expression of preferences, rather than demands • Negotiating compromises

  16. Family Therapy • Similar to couples therapy, but evolved for different reasons • A number of therapists noticed that a number of individuals who made significant improvements in individual therapy or institutional treatment often had a relapse when they returned to their families – this led to an emphasis on the family environment and parent-child interactions as causes of maladaptive behavior

  17. Family Therapy • The basic concepts of FT differ from individual therapy • Grounded in systems theory • Circular causality – events are inter-related and mutually dependent • Ecology – systems can only be understood as integrated patterns, not component parts • Subjectivity – there are no objective views of events, only subjective perceptions filtered by the experiences of perceivers in a system • Homeostasis – the tendency of a family to act in ways that maintain the family’s equilibrium or status quo

  18. Family Therapy • The therapeutic focus is on changing interactions between/among family members with the goal of improving the functioning of the family or the functioning of individual members of the family • The focus is initially on one family member – the “identified patient” or scapegoat (typically an adolescent, but not always) • The therapist reframes the problem in terms of disturbed family processes or faulty family communications • Family members are encouraged to see their own contributions to the family’s problems, as well as the positive changes they can make