Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several individuals simultaneously.

Yalom's twelve therapeutic factors are:[1]

  1. Instillation of Hope: Members recognize other member's improvement and develop optimism for their own improvement.
  2. Universality: Members realize that they are not alone in their feelings, impulses, thoughts, and problems.
  3. Imparting information: Education and advice provided by the group members and therapist.
  4. Altruism: Members boost their self-esteem and sense of value and significance by helping other group members.
  5. Corrective recapitulation of primary family experience: the opportunity to re-enact family dynamics within the safety and corrective manner of a group setting
  6. Development of socializing techniques: provides an environment for group members to have social development, tolerance, empathy, and other interpersonal skills.
  7. Imitative behavior: group members expand their own knowledge and skills by observing other member's self-exploration, working through, and personal development
  8. Interpersonal learning:
    • Input: members gain personal insight about their interpersonal impact through feedback provided by other members
    • Output: members provide an environment that allows members to interact in a more adaptive manner and practice new skills.
  9. Cohesiveness: gives members a sense of trust, acceptance, belonging, and security.
  10. Catharsis: members release strong feelings or suppressed emotions about past or present experiences
  11. Existential factors: members accept responsibility for their life decisions – by living 'existentially', members learn how to accept responsibility without escaping from them.
  12. Self-understanding: members gain insight into psychological motivation underlying behaviour and emotional reactions
1) Yalom ID, Leszcz M. The theory and practice of group psychotherapy. 5. New York: Basic Books; 2005