1st Edition

The Virtual Group Therapy Circle Advances in Online Group Theory and Practice

Edited By Haim Weinberg, Arnon Rolnick, Adam Leighton Copyright 2024
    398 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    398 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides group therapists and counselors with the necessary knowledge and help to develop their skills in effectively conducting online groups.

    Group therapy represents the most efficient utilization of the scarce resource of mental health interventions. Online settings dramatically increase the dissemination of this approach. This book identifies the diverse challenges and suggests solutions in remote group therapy for specific therapeutic approaches such as psychodynamic, relational, psychodrama, CBT, ACT, and group supervision. The contributing authors explore specific issues that anyone who conducts groups online should be aware of.

    Using a group therapy lens, this book develops further the ideas and areas explored in the authors’ previous books Theory and Practice of Online Therapy and Advances in Online Therapy.


    Haim Weinberg, Arnon Rolnick, and Adam Leighton

    Section I: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities in Online Groups: Insights from Research and Theory 

    1. Research on Online Groups 

    Gary Burlingame, Rachel Arnold, Tate Paxton, and Alee Rands

    2. Miles Away: Alliance and Cohesion in Online Group Therapy 

    Cheri Marmarosh, Alexandra Robelo, Alicia Solorio, Feng Xing

    3. Online Group Psychotherapy: Is the Body Really Necessary? 

    Nikos Takis

    4. From Shrinkage to Expansion – Online Group Therapy that Enables Acquaintance with "Other" Self-States through Dissociation and Enactment 

    Enav Karniel Lauer

    5. "Can I Join Online?" Hybrid Group Therapy Integrating Online Participants In Face-To-Face Groups 

    Efrat Zigenlaub and Ella Stolper

    Section II: Online Group Process Oriented Approaches 

    6. Modern psychoanalytic group therapy online: Adaptations of theory and technique 

    Aaron Black and Ellen Wright

    7. Group Analytic Therapy and the online groups: Some principles of the group analytic approach to Online group therapy 

    Robi Friedman

    8. Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy Conducted Online 

    Ruthellen Josselson and Judith Schoenholtz-Read

    9. Systems-Centered Therapy and Training Groups Online: Adapting to the Driving and Restraining Forces in an Online Context 

    Susan Gantt

    10. Online Large Groups in Times of Social Turmoil: Helping Individuals and Communities to Work-Through Pandemics and Wars 

    Gila Ofer, Uri Levin and Stavros Charalambides

    Section III: Online Psychodrama, Art Therapy and Adventure based Methods 

    11. Sociatry and Sociodrama. A New Possibility in Psychodrama Online Reality: Healing Social Trauma 

    Deniz Altınay

    12. Psychodrama On Zoom: The Story Of The Soul 

    Shelley Korshak Firestone

    13. Online Psychodrama Groups with Children 

    Hanan El-Mazahy

    14. Online Art Therapy: Encouraging Creative Healing in The Virtual Space 

     Iris Lachnit and Meera Rastogi

    15. Online Group Art Therapy - the Presence of the Artistic Entity: Experiences with groups of senior citizen women 

    Dana Bar-Shor

    16. Adventure-Based Counseling Online: Bringing Novelty, Physical Engagement, and Shared Problem Solving to a Virtual Format 

    Barney Straus

    Section IV: Online Person-Centered Mechanisms of Change Approaches: Psychoeducational, CBT, ACT & SE Groups 

    17. Somatic Experiencing Informed Group Psychotherapy Online 

    Carlos Canales

    18. Fostering Intimacy and Participant Engagement on the Zoom Platform: A Practical Beginner’s Manual 

    Kimberly B. Harrison and Katherine Chapman

    19. Online Psychoeducational Groups 

    Nina Brown

    20.  Cognitive Behavioural Group Therapy Virtually 

    Ingrid Söchting

    21. ACT as a Group Teletherapy 

    Darrah Westrup

    22. "Can We Zoom Out Of The Hospital?" - Online Behavioral Stress Management Groups 

    Reut Ron and Anat Laronne

    Section V: Training, Teaching and Supervising Groups Online 

    23. Online group psychotherapy training 

    Haim Weinberg

    24. Establishing a Group Program in Business School and Shifting to the Virtual World 

    Darryl Pure and Lisa Stefanac

    25. Enhancing Supervision Practices: The Promise and Potential of Online Group Supervision 

    Arnon Rolnick, Adam Leighton, and Haim Weinberg

    26. Epilogue: Beyond Group Psychotherapy – Online Groups as the Modern Agora for Enhancing Democracy and Cohesion

    Arnon Rolnick


    Haim Weinberg, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, group analyst and certified group psychotherapist, in California, USA.

    Arnon Rolnick, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist with special interest in the usage of technology in psychotherapy. Certified supervisor in CBT and biofeedback

    Adam Leighton is a counselor, group facilitator, wilderness therapy facilitator and a lecturer at the Ruppin Academic Centre, Israel.

    "This remarkably comprehensive textbook shaped by contributions from international experts in online group psychotherapy, advances the field in a clear, valuable and absolutely necessary fashion. In presenting the state of the art of online group therapy – research, theory, accrued wisdom and technique - across modalities, and across ages, this textbook responds effectively to a major paradigm shift in contemporary practice. The authors address the implementation gap that exists between what our clients seek and need, and what practitioners must understand to embrace this evolution in our field. It is an essential guide for group therapy clinicians, supervisors, and educators."

    Molyn Leszcz, M.D. Past-President, The American Group Psychotherapy Association. Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

    "This is an illuminating volume that arrives at a perfect time in our post-pandemic world. The Virtual Group Therapy Circle is a comprehensive compendium of up-to-date information, perspectives, and instruction about online group therapy, a burgeoning field that many professionals believed could not work. How does one build an alliance and create cohesion? Don’t we need to need to be able to see the body? To feel the other’s presence? To experience the visceral intensity of the moment? This volume candidly tackles such questions focusing on how different models of group therapy (including Interpersonal, Modern Analytic, Psychodramatic, CBT, Systems-Centered, and more) can achieve successful outcomes balanced by addressing drawbacks to online intervention. The Virtual Group Therapy Circle will undoubtedly be viewed as the essential reference book on the subject on online group therapy."

    Joseph Shay, Ph.D. co-author of Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy and co-editor of Odysseys in Psychotherapy and Complex Dilemmas in Group Therapy

    "Some might consider "remote group psychotherapy" an oxymoron. Is it possible that the highly interactive and relational form of psychotherapy practiced in a group format can be effective in a remote situation?

    There are certainly advantages to remote therapy. It makes therapy available to some who would otherwise be unable to access it. It can be cost-efficient since it reduces office costs, travel expense, etc. It is convenient. There are also obvious disadvantages. It is not the same as sitting together. There are some who do not have the technical skills to properly use remote sessions. Some cannot afford the technology required to participate in remote psychotherapy. Some people’s living situations do not allow sufficient privacy to participate online.  Indeed, there is a question as to whether online group therapy can guarantee confidentiality. Nonetheless, prompted by Covid-19, group therapy now is being practiced remotely. Some therapists have found it so convenient that they have decided to offer only remote group therapy henceforth.

    Haim Weinberg, Arnon Rolnick, and Adam Leighton present us a comprehensive text to examine this new world of group psychotherapy. They have brought together a stellar cast of authors who examine various aspects of remote group psychotherapy.

    The group begins by examining some of the challenges of doing group therapy remotely. The next section focuses on various group process approaches and how they are impacted by being online. The book then examines some specific approaches: Psychodrama and Person-Centered groups online.

    The book concludes with the important topic of training, teaching and supervising online groups.

    This is an important book that focuses on an extremely important topic in the practice of group psychotherapy today."

    J. Scott Rutan, Ph.D. Founder, Center for Group Psychotherapy, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Past President, American Group Psychotherapy Association

    "The Virtual Group Therapy Circle is a highly valuable book for anyone looking to expand their understanding of different approaches to group therapy in the online setting. The authors provide a thorough examination of various techniques and strategies of online work, making it an invaluable resource for both new and experienced practitioners. Weinberg, Rolnick and Leighton have done an excellent job exploring the unique challenges and opportunities that come with online group therapy and provide a wealth of information on different approaches, including cognitive-behavioral, psychodrama, psychoanalytic, training and supervision groups. The book covers all aspects of online group therapy, from the technical to the therapeutic. I highly recommend The Virtual Group Therapy Circle, the first book of its kind, for anyone interested in the field."

    Elliot Zeisel, PhD, AGPA-DF, Producer, GROUP - The Series on YouTube, Founder, Faculty, Center for Group Studies

    "This book facilitates a fascinating overview of the most effective online interventions for group psychotherapy and group processes at large. It is accessible, easy to read, didactic and practical at the same time. It covers fundamental online skills of the whole range of group approaches of our field being extremely beneficial for the beginner as well as for the experienced practitioner of online group therapy. It will surely become the reference for anyone working with groups online being appropriate for professional therapists, non-therapeutic practitioners and the general public. Knowing most of the authors personally I can surely guarantee an excellent lecture with an abundant source of ideas and a comprehensive guide to the novelties of online group therapy and group processes."

    Dr. Jorge Burmeister, psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, psychodramatist, and former president of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy (IAGP)