Therapeutic Group Factors

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Irvin Yalom, a major figure in group therapy, has spent much of his career investigating the inner workings of group therapy. Throughout his decades of work, Dr. Yalom has identified a number of group therapeutic factors that represent the primary agents of change in group therapy. These therapeutic factors help to give purpose and direction to a therapy group’s activities in addition to providing a benchmark against which progress can be measured.

While there are a number of therapeutic group factors, you do not need to touch on all of them to have an effective therapy group. Some types of therapy groups are going to emphasize certain factors, while other therapy groups are going to focus on different factors. For example, an Adult Children of Alcoholics group might focus on interpersonal relationships and corrective recapitulation of the family experience. In contrast, a cancer survivor support group might focus on installation of hope and imparting information. As a therapy group leader, you should keep therapeutic factors in mind as an overarching measure of the group’s success.

For this Discussion, review the week’s Learning Resources and select three therapeutic factors that align with your therapeutic approach. Consider how you might address issues that arise from therapeutic factors that do not align with expectations for the therapy group.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a brief description of the therapeutic factors you selected. Then, explain how each aligns with your therapeutic approach. Finally, explain how you might address issues and challenges that may arise when therapeutic factors do not align to your expectations for the therapy group. Be specific and use the Learning Resources and current literature to support your response.

Reference:

  • Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books.
    • Chapter 1: “The Therapeutic Factors” (pp. 1–18)
    • Chapter 2: “Interpersonal Learning” (pp. 19–52)

    Aguilera, A., Garza, M. J., & Munoz, R. F. (2010). Group cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression in Spanish: Culture-sensitive manualized treatment in practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 66(8), 857–867.Oei, T. P. S., & Browne, A. (2006). Components of group processes: Have they contributed to the outcome of mood and anxiety disorder patients in a group cognitive behaviour therapy program? American Journal of Psychotherapy, 60, 53–70.Salvendy, J. T. (1999). Ethnocultural considerations in group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 49(4), 429–464.

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