Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by Marilyn Walker
Psychotherapy means changing and healing theoughts,feelings,and communicating skills. Group psychotherapy on the other hand, is a procedural treatment for suitable patients and / or clients, consisting of 3 to 20 people, administered by group psychotherapists.
A group of people interact each other in small rooms.
They have the opportunity to understand each other better and change themselves.
Group managers who are good at different subjects use different techniques to provide change and dynamics.
The most important feature of group psychotherapies is that the members of the group receive feedback from the other members as well as the manager
Another feature is that both the individual and the therapist are able to observe the mental, emotional and behavioral responses of the patient / client in their natural forms.
What Are The Benefits of Group Therapies ?
Group therapy includes universality(not feeling alone),alturism,empathy skills,past repairing emotional life,social skills,building healthy personalities,desire to live,relational learning,increased awareness and insight.
Types of Group Therapies
There are many different psychotherapies for different problems. Supportive, analytical, psychodramatic-sociometric, cognitive behavioral, interactive, family and peer group, educational, self-helping are the main types.
Group Psychotherapists and Managers
Usually one administrator and 1-2 assistant managers manage the group psychotherapy. If the assistant managers are also trained, they can take control.
Administrators of group psychotherapy can be determined by the certificates.
The History of Cognitive Group Therapies
J.L Moreno is considered to be one of the pioneer of cognitive group therapies. He is the founder of International Association For Group Psychotherapy. J. L. Moreno developed a unique method called Psychodramatic Sociometric Group Psychotherapy.
- Typically : Supportive, psychoanalytic, group analysis, psychodynamic-relational, psychodrama, transactional, cognitive behavioral, self-helping groups.
- Patient Wise : Homogeneous groups can be formed with patients with the same diagnosis For example, eating disorders, alcohol and substance use, schizophrenic disorder.
- Time Wise : A weekend study, long-term treatment groups, four-to-seven-year professional training groups, or open-ended groups would do.
Group meetings are held in hospitals and are mostly conducted in team management with the participation of all patients. In addition, group psychotherapies work with patients individually selected for the group.
In special conditions, the group forms with the choices made among the applicants in examinations, psychotherapy centers, psychotherapy workshops, psychology counseling and therapy centers and institutes.
Characteristics of the Group
Size: It is carried out with minimum 3 and maximum 20 members. There may be some medium and large group practices (more than 20; more than 60). Most group psychotherapists work with 8-12 members.
Session frequency: Sessions are usually once a week (45 minutes – 3 hours). There are also intensive (21 hours at the weekend, one week every day) and marathon group exercises (72 hours with little sleep).
Setting: Group psychotherapies are available both inpatient and outpatient in hospitals as well as in counseling and treatment centers, psychotherapy centers, institutes and workshops.
Some groups do not receive new members after they have started. It continues with the same members even if the number of groups decreases. In semi-closed groups, new members can join according to the decreased number of members.
Patient / Client Selection
Group therapists usually make decisions by determining at least a few individual interviews when identifying the appropriate individuals for the group. They may want some psychological tests.
Here are some criteria for selection and exclusion:
Peer distress: People with borderline and schizoid personality are not comfortable in group settings.
Social phobia: If these people can manage to overcomet their phobia it is the ideal treatment environment for them.
People with antisocial personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder: These people do not feel good in mixed groups. However it’s not an strict exclusion criteria.
Group therapies can be effecive on :
- Anxiety disorders (Panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, chronic stress disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, social phobia, dissociative disorders, conversion disorder, somatization disorder, hypochondriasis)
- Mood disorders
- Psychotic disorders
- Eating disorders
- Substance and alcohol addiction
- Complicated grief disorder
- Childhood traumas
- Chronical, physical diseases
- Physical disorders associated with emotional states
- Problems in School
- Problems in Work
- Parenting education
- Adapting to changes in life
- Awareness, insight and personal development