Specialized Formats and
The standard group therapy format in which one therapist meets with six to eight patients is often complicated by other factors: the patient may be in concurrent or combined individual therapy; there may be a co- therapist in the group; occasionally the group may meet without the therapist. I shall discuss these contingencies in this chapter and describe, in addition, some specialized techniques and approaches that, though not essential, may at times facilitate the course of therapy.
First, some definitions. Conjoint therapy refers to a treatment format in which the patient is seen by one therapist in individual therapy and a different therapist (or two, if co-therapists) in group therapy. In combined therapy, the patient is treated by the same therapist simultaneously in individual and group therapy.
While many different combinations of group and individual therapy may be practiced, no systematic data permit firm conclusions about the effectiveness of any of them. Guidelines must thus be formulated from clinical judgment and from deductive reasoning based on the posited therapeutic factors. Nor do we know much about relative frequencies, though it is likely that in private practice combined therapy is more commonly employed than conjoint therapy. 1
By no means should one consider conjoint and combined therapy as equiv-