The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy


Hailed by Jerome Frank as "the best book that exists on the subject, today and for the foreseeable future," Irvin D. Yalom's The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy has long been the standard text in its field. Indeed, in a survey reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry, it was cited as one of the ten most influential psychiatry publications of the past decade, and it was one of the very few judged to be of "seminal or lasting value."In this completely revised and expanded fourth edition- updated to reflect the American Psychiatric Association's latest diagnostic manual, the DSM-IV- Dr. Yalom presents the most recent developments in the field, drawing on nearly a decade of new research as well as his own broad clinical wisdom and experience. This edition features new sections on combining individual and group therapy, the latest information about brief group therapy, and how to modify group work to deal with the newly emerging homogeneous focal groups (including survivor groups), as well as updated references and new clinical vignettes drawn from the author's recent practice. Throughout, Dr. Yalom has updated the style and content of the chapters, while retaining valid research and clinical observations. Illustrating the text are vivid cases from nearly two thousand group sessions that he has led over the past decade. The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy is an informative text that is at once scholarly and lively. This new edition is the most up-to-date, incisive, and comprehensive text on group therapy available today.


Since group therapy was first introduced in the 1940s, it has undergone a series of adaptations to meet the changing face of clinical practice. As new clinical syndromes, settings, and theoretical approaches have emerged (and sometimes vanished), so too have corresponding variants of group therapy. The multiplicity of forms is so evident today that it is best not to speak of group therapy but of the many group therapies. Eating-disorders groups, cancer support groups, groups for victims of sexual abuse, for AIDS patients, for the confused elderly, for individuals disabled by panic disorders or obsessive-compulsive symptoms, for patients with chronic schizophrenia, for adult children of alcoholics, for parents of sexually abused children, for male batterers, for the divorced, for the bereaved, for disturbed families, for married couples, for patients with myocardial infarct, paraplegia, diabetic blindness, renal failure, bone marrow transplant--all of these are forms of group therapy.

The settings of group therapy are also diverse: a group for chronically or acutely psychotic patients on a stark hospital ward is group therapy and so, too, is a group of relatively well functioning individuals with neurotic or characterological disorders meeting in a psychotherapist's well-appointed private office.

And the technical styles are bewilderingly different: gestalt, brief therapy groups, supportive-expressive, cognitive-behavioral, psychoanalytic, psycho- educational, dynamic-interactional, psychodrama--these, and many more, are all group therapy.

The family gathering of group therapies is swollen even more by the presence of distant relatives, groups that are cousin to therapy groups: experiential . . .

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