Curative factors in groups This chapter will first summarise what are usually considered to be the specific advantages or curative factors in interactive groups and ask the question: Why introduce art therapy into the group and what might be the advantages, and problems, of doing so?
INTRODUCTIONThere are several features of psychotherapy groups in general which are considered by most workers in the field to have curative potential. In summary, these are:
|1 Giving and sharing of information: this happens in the early stages of a newly formed group when members impart information about themselves and the therapist helps members to understand the task of the group, namely that the members should interact, share thoughts and feelings and give feedback to each other as honestly as possible.|
|2 Installation of hope: new members need to see that the group is worth joining and that others have benefited. Usually the other group members will ‘initiate’ a new member and point out positive changes that have happened to individuals and to the group. Members usually reassure a new person that the group is valuable and worthwhile (although on occasions a member who is angry with the conductor and with the group will deride the group in an attempt to form an anti-conductor sub-group, which will need to be picked up by the conductor or, preferably, other group members).|
|3 Patients help each other. It is difficult at first for patients to feel that they can be helped by other patients and a common fear is that they will be adversely affected by each other’s neurosis, so they look to the leader to ‘give the answers’. Gradually they find that they can be helpful to and helped by other patients and it is of course up to the therapist to encourage this to happen and not to collude with the fantasy that he or she is all-powerful.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Group Interactive Art Therapy: Its Use in Training and Treatment.
Contributors: Diane Waller - Author.
Place of publication: London.
Publication year: 1993.
Page number: 35.
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