Basics of Group Psychotherapy  book cover
1st Edition

Basics of Group Psychotherapy

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ISBN 9780898621174
Published October 20, 1994 by Guilford Press
224 Pages

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Book Description

Filling a significant gap in the clinical literature, this unusually practical manual addresses the nuts-and-bolts issues involved in conducting group therapy. Featuring contributions from leading experts in the field, the volume covers everything from determining which patients will benefit from a group experience to step-by-step instructions for running group sessions as effectively as possible. A hands-on manual, the volume is also an ideal companion to a basic text on group psychotherapy.
Organized in a unique, logical sequence, the chapters begin with an explanation of how to select patients for a particular group intervention and how groups are composed. The different stages of group interaction over time are then covered in detail, as are the changing aspects of the therapist's role during the various stages. Setting forth basic principles of group technique--including the management of resistance, transference, primitive group dynamics, and countertransference--a clear distinction is drawn between the roles of therapists conducting group treatment and therapists working in other treatment modalities.

Table of Contents

W.E. Piper, M. McCullum, Selection of Patients for Group Intervention. K.R. MacKenzie, The Developing Structure of the Therapy Group. R.R. Dies, The Therapist's Role in Group Treatments. K. Porter, Principles of Group Therapeutic Technique. H.S. Bernard, Difficult Patients and Challenging Situations. J. Schoenholtz?Read, Selection of Group Intervention. E.C. Lonergan, Using Theories of Group Therapy.

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Harold S. Bernard, Ph.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of the Group Psychotherapy Program, Division of Ambulatory Services, New York University/Bellevue Medical Center. He is Book Review Editor of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy and a member of the journal's Editorial Committee. Coeditor of the Handbook of Contemporary Group Psychotherapy and the author of numerous book chapters and journal articles, Dr. Bernard is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and was a member of its Board of Directors from 1991 to 1994. A past President (1991-1993) of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, he maintains private practices in both New York City and Westport, Connecticut.


The editors are quite clear: 'Our intent is to focus on specific skills--on the nuts-and-bolts issues involved in running therapy groups. It is designed as a complementary volume to the standard group psychotherapy textbook.' (p.vii) The editors and six authors joining them are to be congratulated. Beginning group therapies, their supervisors, and the teachers of introductory group work courses will find this a useful volume.

Clinicians undertaking the tasks of forming and sustaining psychotherapy groups seldom have the luxury of being exposed to multiple groups. Many practical problems arise as they embark upon this enterprise. The editors of this book have addressed the everyday problems facing the group therapist. How do you select for groups? What are the practical limitations of selection procedures? Are there distinguishing features between exploratory and supportive group treatment. What should be the therapist's focus? What are danger signs to an individual or to the group? These and many more questions are examined in a clear fashion, with each chapter filled with practical ideas and suggestions highlighting issues pertinent to every group encounter. The numerous examples are addressed in a flexible manner, incorporating group-as-a-whole, interpersonal, and intrapsychic perspectives. The authors practical approach is not without theory, but the emphasis in this pragmatic volume is addressing the everyday problems that perplex beginning and seasoned group therapists alike.
--Walter N. Stone, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Also, past President of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.

At last, a basic textbook for the teaching of group psychotherapy! This book is a must for all mental health professionals beginning their training in group psychotherapy. The authors in this volume have managed to succinctly and thoroughly address the salient issues of doing group psychotherapy. Present-day dilemmas such as patient and group selections, e.g., the issue of which group for what person at what time are addressed. Difficult situations which have never been explored in the literature, i.e., coping with a group that is diminishing in size, excessive self-disclosure by a group member, and extra-group socializing are explicated with a variety of management options suggested. The necessity for each group psychotherapist to adopt a sound theoretical framework is clearly stated with accompanying detailed and thoughtful examples of various theoretical orientations presented. It is truly a growth step for group psychotherapy that such a basic and fine book finally exists. --Bonnie J. Buchele, Ph.D., Director, Group Psychotherapy Service of The Menninger Clinic

There are a plethora of methodologies in group psychotherapy. A textbook invariably reflects the bias of its author(s). So what is the neophyte to do? How can he or she study a text without being unduly influenced by its source? That dilemma now has a remedy, which is to use this manual. The seven chapters of this volume constitute a frame for study. They address the pragmatics of treatment in a generic sense rather than from the vantage point of any single approach. Multiple authorship has reduced the potential for bias. Here is the ideal companion volume for the fledgling group psychotherapist to use when exploring the literature and while beginning to practice on his or her own. --Howard D. Kibel, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, New York Medical College; Director of Group Psychotherapy, Westchester County Medical Center

The text deals with practical, clinical issues in a theoretically consistent manner. --Joseph C. Kobos, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio