Therapeutic Group Factors

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Discussion 1: Therapeutic Group Factors

Irvin Yalom, a major figure in group therapy, has spent much of his career investigating the inner workings of group therapy. Throughout his decades of work, Dr. Yalom has identified a number of group therapeutic factors that represent the primary agents of change in group therapy. These therapeutic factors help to give purpose and direction to a therapy group’s activities in addition to providing a benchmark against which progress can be measured.

While there are a number of therapeutic group factors, you do not need to touch on all of them to have an effective therapy group. Some types of therapy groups are going to emphasize certain factors, while other therapy groups are going to focus on different factors. For example, an Adult Children of Alcoholics group might focus on interpersonal relationships and corrective recapitulation of the family experience. In contrast, a cancer survivor support group might focus on installation of hope and imparting information. As a therapy group leader, you should keep therapeutic factors in mind as an overarching measure of the group’s success.

For this Discussion, review the week’s Learning Resources and select three therapeutic factors that align with your therapeutic approach. Consider how you might address issues that arise from therapeutic factors that do not align with expectations for the therapy group.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a brief description of the therapeutic factors you selected. Then, explain how each aligns with your therapeutic approach. Finally, explain how you might address issues and challenges that may arise when therapeutic factors do not align to your expectations for the therapy group. Be specific and use the Learning Resources and current literature to support your response.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Discussion 2: Demographics and Therapy Group Culture

The therapeutic factors that are most salient to a therapy group can be based on group member demographics. As an example, the military has its own culture, which values resilience, tradition, and adaptability. Even branches within the military can have their own culture affecting attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors. In contrast, the Deaf community is a linguistic minority culture that emphasizes collectivism, open communication, and physical contact. These cultural aspects can have an impact on what therapeutic factors might be the most helpful, and which factors might bring little value to the therapy group members.

For this Discussion, select a culture (e.g., military, college students, ethnic group, Deaf community) with which you are familiar. Consider how the culture’s attitudes, values, and beliefs might impact therapeutic factors during group therapy.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the culture you selected. Then, explain how the attitudes, values, beliefs, and/or behaviors of this culture might impact therapeutic factors in group therapy. Provide examples to support your response. Be specific and use the Learning Resources and current literature to support your response.

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