Group Therapy for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse : A Practical Guide for Mental Health Professionals book cover
1st Edition

Group Therapy for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse
A Practical Guide for Mental Health Professionals

ISBN 9780367862565
Published April 21, 2022 by Routledge
146 Pages

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Book Description

This book presents the therapist with a reflective and robust framework for group treatment that promotes an end to the shame and secrecy so frequently experienced by survivors.

Through a series of tools such as visualisations and art exercises, the practitioner is guided through the process of establishing and running a group in this modality. The synthesis of both an educational and a process-based model is imbued with a sense of warmth and a deep understanding of this client group. Themes such as self-soothing, strengthening boundaries, inner-child work, making meaning of endings, and ways forward drive this therapeutic approach. Taking group work as the optimum matrix for change for this client population, this model provides a convincing rationale for the establishment of said work as best practice in the institutions that provide for their care.

Practicing therapists and mental health nurses will find this new model of therapy an instrumental resource in their approach to treatment for survivors of trauma and abuse.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: Forming a Group  1. Assessment  2. Mixed Gender Groups  3. The Virtual Group  4. Measuring Progress  5. Note Keeping  Part 2: Therapeutic Co-Working  6. Therapeutic Co Working  Part 3: Session Structure  7. Session Structure  Part 4: Session Themes  8. Introductory Session: Confidentiality Contract and Codes of Behaviour, Safe Place Visualisation, Art Piece and Discussion  9. Self-Soothing  10. Boundaries  11. Trust and Intimacy  12. Self Assertion / Speaking Your Truth  13. The Family of Origin  14. Dealing with Tyrants  15. Anger and Rage  16. Grief and Depression  17. Loneliness  18. Shame  19. Sensuality and Sexuality  20. Fear  21. Suicidality  22. The Myth of Forgiveness  23. The Question of Evil  24. Brokenness and Healing  25. Inner Child Visualisation  26. Endings and Beginnings  27. Ways Forward  28. Closing Session

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Lorraine McColgan has a Masters in Counselling Psychology and a Diploma in Clinical Supervision from Trinity College Dublin. She works with the National Counselling Service in Ireland and in private practice as an individual and group therapist and as a clinical supervisor. She is a registered member of the Psychological Society of Ireland. Please contact [email protected] for all inquiries.



"McColgan offers a practical guide to therapeutic group work for mental health professionals who work with adult survivors of abuse. Her therapeutic group work synthesises a psychoeducational approach with a dynamic process perspective … I like this work. It is simple but profound. Unpretentious and eminently usable."

Jarlath F. Benson, Psychoanalytic Group Analyst, Trainer and Supervisor with the NHS, UK and in private practice, Ireland