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. 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. 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.
1. A brief description of the therapeutic factors you selected
2. Explain how each aligns with your therapeutic approach.
3. Explain how you might address issues and challenges that may arise when therapeutic factors do not align to your expectations for the therapy group.
4. A brief description of the culture you selected
5. Explain how the attitudes, values, beliefs, and/or behaviors of this culture might impact therapeutic factors in group therapy
6. Provide examples to support your response. Be specific and use the Learning Resources and current literature to support your response.