Course Description and Proposal
Psychotherapy groups offer many unique and important benefits for clients in diverse settings (Holmes & Kivlighan, Jr., 2000). Interpersonal and psychodynamic psychotherapy groups are a therapeutic modality for clients to understand relationship dynamics, increase interpersonal connection and gain insight (Yalom & Leszcz, 2006), Psychoeducational support groups for social anxiety or depression provide education, support, and skill building to clients in many settings such as private practice, day treatment programs, and mental health agencies. (Orgrodniczuk & Steinberg, 2005).
This course will first offer a presentation of the benefits of group vs. individual psychotherapy and then the course will focus on the clinical dilemmas which every group psychotherapist faces. Course participants will participate in a discussion of the benefits of group psychotherapy in contrast to individual therapy. (Wesson, 2015). They will also be familiarized with 1) different types of groups including interpersonal, psychodynamic and psychoeducational support groups 2) stages of group psychotherapy (Yalom and Leszcz, 2006) Then the workshop will focus on techniques to therapeutically handle challenging group dilemmas and enrich the group through this therapeutic process. These dilemmas include:
- monopolizing (Segalla, 2006).
- scapegoating (Moreno, 2007).
- absenteeism (Paquin & Kivlighan, 2016).
- conflict in group (Segalla, 2006).
- challenges to the leader of the group (Corey, Schneider Corey, Callanan & Russell, 2004).
This course will increase the knowledge and skill level of psychologists who lead or who are planning to lead a psychotherapy group.
Participants will be able to:
- Compare the advantages and disadvantages of group psychotherapy vs. individual psychotherapy.
- Compare different types of group psychotherapy (such as psycho-educational support groups and interpersonal process groups).
- List the stages of process group psychotherapy.
- Utilize methods for enriching psychotherapy groups by therapeutically handing clinical dilemmas including: monopolizing, scapegoating, absenteeism, conflict in group and challenges to the group leader.
Course Outline/ Timeline
- 9:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m.: Introduction and overview of the course. Overview of group psychotherapy Advantages and disadvantages of group psychotherapy when compared to individual psychotherapy.
- 10:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m.: Different types of group psychotherapy, stages of process group psychotherapy.
- 10:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m.: Experiential fish bowl demonstration of process group utilizing one member who will act out as a “monopolizer.”
- 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Class discussion of the fish bowl demonstration.
- 11:30 a.m. -11:45 a.m.: Break.
- 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.: Case vignettes distributed and discussion in small groups of clinical dilemmas in groups.
- 12:45 p.m. -1:30 p.m.: Class discussion and overview of clinical dilemmas which take place in process groups.
- 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.: Wrap-up and evaluation.
- Clifford, M. (2004). Group Counseling and Group Therapy in Mental Health Settings and Health Maintenance Organizations. In DeLucia-Waack, J., Gerrity, D., Kalodner, C., & Riva, M. (Eds), Handbook of group counseling and psychotherapy (pp. 414-426). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Corey, G., Schneider Corey, M., Callanan, P., & Russell, J. M. (2004). Group Techniques. 3rd ed., Belmont, CA: Brooks/ Cole.
- Holmes,E., & Kivlighan, Jr. (2000). Comparison of Therapeutic Factors in Group and Individual Treatment Processes. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 4, 478-484.
- Moreno, J.K. (2007). Scapegoating in Group Psychotherapy, International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 57 (1), 93-105.
- Paquin J., & Kivlighan, D. (2016). All Absences are not the Same: What happens to the Group Climate When Someone is Absent from Group? International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 00, 1-20.
- Orgrodniczuk, J. & Steinberg, P. (2005). A Renewal of Interest in Day Treatment. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 50, 77.
- Segalla, R. (2006). Selfish and Unselfish Behavior: Scene Stealing and Scene Sharing in Group Psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 56(1), 33-36.
- Wesson, N. (2015). Contrasting Group Psychotherapy with Individual Psychotherapy. Retrieved from https://csgp.org/contrasting-group-psychotherapy-with-individual-psychotherapy/
- Yalom, I., & Leszcz, M. (2006). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th Ed.). New York: Basic Books.