The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

By Irvin D. Yalom | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
The Therapeutic Factors
How does group therapy help patients? A naive question. But if we can answer it with some measure of precision and certainty, we will have at our disposal a central organizing principle by which to approach the most vexing and controversial problems of psychotherapy. Once identified, the crucial aspects of the process of change will constitute a rational basis upon which the therapist may base tactics and strategy.I suggest that therapeutic change is an enormously complex process that occurs through an intricate interplay of human experiences, which I will refer to as "therapeutic factors." There is considerable advantage in approaching the complex through the simple, the total phenomenon through its basic component processes. Accordingly, I begin by describing and discussing these elemental factors.From my perspective, natural lines of cleavage divide the therapeutic experience into eleven primary factors:
1. Instillation of hope
2. Universality
3. Imparting information
4. Altruism
5. The corrective recapitulation of the primary family group
6. Development of socializing techniques
7. Imitative behavior
8. Interpersonal learning
9. Group cohesiveness
10. Catharsis
11. Existential factors.

-1-

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