1st Edition

Addressing Diversity Dynamics in Group Therapy Clinical and Training Applications

Edited By Alexis D. Abernethy Copyright 2025
    190 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book illustrates group dynamics and group interventions in response to diversity-related content and processes in group therapy.

    Perspectives informed by conceptual frameworks guide the discussion of specific clinical interventions and the implications for training. Cultural dimensions of race, international heritage, classism, religion, and aspects of intersectionality associated with these dimensions are a particular emphasis. Key sections for each chapter include Conceptual Framework, Group Interventions, Teaching or Case Examples, Intersectionality, Ethical Considerations, and Implications for Training and/or Practice. Professional development opportunities for mental health professionals as well as training implications for psychiatry residents and psychology interns is addressed, and case studies offer practical examples for guiding therapists and trainees to intervene more effectively in addressing diversity dynamics in group therapy.

    An important and timely resource that belongs in every group practitioner’s repertoire, this resource is broad enough to be integrated into a course for a training or graduate program and specific enough to serve as a shelf reference for those in practice.


    Alexis D. Abernethy

    Part 1. Considering Diversity Dynamics

    1. Identifying and Working Through Racialized Enactments in Group Psychotherapy 

    Donna J. Harris 

    2. Addressing Power Dynamicsin Systems-Centered Training Groups: Undoing Raclialized Enactments by Developing a Decolonizing Group Culture and Weakening Closed Survivor Roles 

    Susan P. Gantt, Joan Adams, Willard Ashley, and Frances Carter

    3. Adopting a Multicultural Orientation to Work with International Students of Color in Heterogeneous Interpersonal Process Groups 

    Kristin M. Miserocchi and Yujia Lei

    4. Hideen Diversity: The Invisible Oppressor of Classism

    Cindy Miller Aron and Sydney Marie LeFay

    5. An Unsacred Silence: Conceptualizin Religious Dynamics in Group Psychotherapy

    Mendel Horowitz and Avidan Milevsky 

    6. Diversity Considerations in Psychiatry Process Groups: The Medical Doctor as Trainee 

    Syeda Razia Haider, Seamus Bhatt-Mackin, and Meenakshi Denduluri 

    Part 2. Reflections on Diversity Dynamics 

    7. Rethinking the Group Leader's Interventions Addressing Diversity

    Haim Weinberg, Response by Winston Gooden 

    8. The Work of Overcoming Racism/White Supremacy in Group Therapy

    Ron Hopson

    9. Applying Insights to Training: A National Instructor Designate Training Group 

    Alexis D. Abernethy 


    Alexis Abernethy, PhD is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology in the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2021, she was named chief academic officer at Fuller.

    "This is an incredibly important book for group therapists working in an environment, impacted today by the psychology of polarisation, discrimination, and dehumanization. Dr. Abernethy has assembled an outstanding cadre of group therapy experts reflecting unparalleled breadth and depth of expertise. They each write in ways that are scholarly and accessible as they address racial dynamics, racism, identity dynamics, and internalised beliefs about race, privilege, and power. This text illustrates powerfully the theory, principles and practices group leaders require to understand, recognise, and work constructively as
    well as courageously in their groups."

    Molyn Leszcz, MD, FRCPC, CGP, AGPA-DF, professor of psychiatry, University of Toronto, past-president, the American Group Psychotherapy Association


    "Abernethy and colleagues have curated a compelling volume of pertinent and vital, culturally sensitive group therapy practices, that integrates diversity and a multiculturally oriented frame into the core of ethical and attuned clinical work.  The authors provide clear ideas and direction that will guide the group therapy practitioner into a more systems-informed framework, that invites attention to power and dominance and how the need to dismantle dominance is just as foundational to our work as symptom reduction and healing.   A must read for anyone wanting to expand and enhance their multiculturally informed teaching and practice as a justice oriented and thoughtful group psychotherapist."

    Michele D. Ribeiro, EdD, ABPP, CGP; (co) editor of The College Counselor’s Guide to Group Psychotherapy and Examining Social Identities and Diversity Issues in Group: Knocking at the Boundaries.


    "This book is a compass for navigating the intricate terrain of diversity dynamics encountered within group therapy. Through a diverse tapestry of authorial voices and perspectives, the book weaves in various theoretical frames from mindfulness, systems-centered, to MCO with case examples and visual metaphors to aid the reader in illuminating their own diversity consciousness. From exploring unique intersectional identities to reflections on systemic training practices, each chapter provides a unique fruit that is a joy to taste and explore with accessible case studies and frameworks, making it an indispensable resource and a step towards weaving diversity consciousness into the fabric of group therapy practice."

    Vinny Malik Dehili, PhD, ABPP, CGP, Board Certified in Group Psychology, co-chair, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Taskforce, American Group Psychological Association, program chair American Psychological Association Division 49 (Group Psychology), vice president of the Group Specialty Council of American Psychological Association