group psychotherapy

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to group psychotherapy: group therapy

group psychotherapy,

a means of changing behavior and emotional patterns, based on the premise that much of human behavior and feeling involves the individual's adaptation and response to other people. It is a process carried out in formally organized groups of three or more individuals who seek change, whether their problem is alcoholism, overeating, or poor social skills. The composition of a group may be heterogenous or homogeneous with reference to the age of the members or the type of problem. The therapist may be directive or nondirective, allowing the group to set their own agenda for discussion. The group becomes a "sample" of the outside world, reproducing conditions of interpersonal relationships; its members jointly participate in observing personal motivation and styles of interaction. They also participate in attempting new behaviors and dealing with the consequences of such behaviors, with the intended result that they will eventually be able to employ these behavior patterns outside the group. In observing the totality of the events that take place in group therapy, the process by which elements of personality are developed in each member is also studied.

Origins of Group Therapy

The technique of formally organized group therapy is said to have been devised by J. H. Pratt in 1905. Pratt was holding general-care instruction classes for recently discharged tuberculosis patients when he noticed the impact of this experience on their emotional states. In 1925 psychoanalyst Trigant Burrow became dissatisfied with individual psychoanalysis, and began experimenting with group techniques. Burrow hoped to decrease the authoritarian position of the therapist, and to more thoroughly examine interpersonal interactions. The application of group therapy methods to prison inmates and discharged mental hospital patients was pioneered by Paul Schilder and Louis Wender in the 1930s. At that time group therapy was found to be particularly useful in the treatment of children and adolescents. The development of group therapy was given impetus during World War II, as a result of the large number of soldiers requiring treatment.

Types of Group Therapy

There are various types of group therapy; approaches include behavior therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, sensitivity training, or GestaltGestalt
[Ger.,=form], school of psychology that interprets phenomena as organized wholes rather than as aggregates of distinct parts, maintaining that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
..... Click the link for more information.
 psychology (see psychotherapypsychotherapy,
treatment of mental and emotional disorders using psychological methods. Psychotherapy, thus, does not include physiological interventions, such as drug therapy or electroconvulsive therapy, although it may be used in combination with such methods.
..... Click the link for more information.
). The composition of groups varies as well, with family therapy and marriage counseling common forms in recent years. Peer group therapy usually consists of a group of individuals who have similar problems, and can be mediated by a psychoanalyst or by the members themselves. Many people seeking help prefer this sort of group therapy over individual therapy, largely because of the comfort derived from knowing that others share their problems. The approach is nondirective, and in some cases, the individual can continue attending sessions whenever they are needed. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a well-known peer support group, run entirely by members. AA has been influential in the formation of similar groups, particularly support groups centered on addictions.


See S. Hearon, Group Therapy (1984); S. Bloch and E. Crouch, Therapeutic Factors in Group Psychotherapy (1987).

group psychotherapy

[′grüp ‚sī·kō′ther·ə·pē]
Therapy given to a group of people by a therapist relying on the group effect on the individual and the person's interactions with the group.
References in periodicals archive ?
Paper presented at the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Annual Meeting, Gray Rocks, QC.
To gain additional knowledge about the process, outcomes, and limitations of psychodrama, the authors interviewed two psychodrama therapists: (1) PD, the director of the 13 psychodrama sessions, who is a certified practitioner licensed by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy (ABEPSGP), and (2) Adam Blatner, MD, who is the author of Acting-In (Blatner, 1996) and Foundations of Psychodrama (Blatner, 2000).
The aim--to find out the point of view of substance use disorder patients regarding number of visits, duration of treatment and efficacy of self-help groups, individual and group psychotherapy.
verbal preparation of patients for group psychotherapy.
Keywords: males, health care utilization, group psychotherapy, integrity, marital separation, values, gender role strain
Women may choose individual psychotherapy consisting of 50-minute sessions each week for 16 weeks or group psychotherapy consisting of 90-minute sessions each week for 20 weeks.
A MUM who battled the hair-loss condition alopecia is looking for volunteers to help her discover whether group psychotherapy can benefit people with the condition.
In the March/April issue I offered an overview of boundaries in group psychotherapy.
DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS: We are licensed marriage and family therapists providing services to the community in the form of individual, family and group psychotherapy.
SAN ANTONIO -- Intensive group psychotherapy didn't result in longer survival time overall in patients with metastatic breast cancer in a new randomized prospective trial, unlike in an often-quoted earlier positive study, Dr.
Additionally, Leszcz, Feigenbaum, Sadavoy and Robinson (1985) have found that elements of life review can be successfully integrated into group psychotherapy with older men.
Written by a psychologist who has given individual and group psychotherapy to trauma and abuse victims for over twenty-five years, It's Not Your Fault is a spiritual self-help guide that denounces the commonly trumpted belief that one can simply think one's way to happiness.

Full browser ?