How does the group process work?

How does the group process work?

The Process:
A newcomer to the group is greeted by many transference reactions. Early relatedness in the group are those of maximal distortions; later, just before termination, these patterns are based on more real foundations, the departing members tending to see themselves as they actually are
During the early sessions patients are increasingly made aware of their relationships with family members and other influential figures. It is pointed out to the members how frequently they respond to another group member or the leader as though s/he were a significant person in either the present or past. There is a tendency for each patient to see the group in terms of his/her own family and others with authority.
Initially obvious attempts are made to turn the group into a classroom, this should be resisted by the therapist. Toward the end of therapy, as the person is about to leave, there is generally a much more real (actual) meeting.
The Use of the Interaction
The therapist initiates a search of the past reasons to be found for the present behaviour: an attempt to remember rather than repeat. This is the reflective stance, which the therapist does first alone, and later with the others when they develop co-therapeutic ability.
If the group is organised according to the homogenous nature of the members’ complaints, the members will meet only to discuss an impairment, hoping to get some relief from it, while at the same time getting the attention of the group and the therapist. When the group stresses the status of the therapist, making her their leader, they become her followers and avoid analysis of transference.
Worse still, if the therapist sees herself as leader, and the group members merely as her followers, analysis of transference-countertransference is avoided. Some special purpose groups, not therapy groups are run along these lines – I would call them educational groups. Here the therapist remains the leader throughout, constantly being directive. The group never becomes “member centered”, always remaining “leader-led”.
The therapist, through insistence on group therapy, indicates that she alone cannot help the patient and that they need the group to assist them. The group therapist, unlike the individual therapist, goes against her fantasy that she is the sole healer, and recognises the capacity of all people to help one another. Group members are accepted as “co-therapists” which enhances each member’s worth.
The group-analytic group can be described as a series of emotional states, thus the conductor can at all times ask: “What is the group really doing at this moment? Is it attempting to avoid, or to get to a problem?”
Provide the group with little structure or direction and the initial reactions of patients is anger or confusion – this is used as material for exploration. The emphasis is on the interpretation of group behaviour rather than on individual behavior.
Group psychotherapy experience represents a microcosm of the world, the loneliness and isolation that patients experience is part of the total anxiety the world experiences.
Some people advocate that patients undergoing long-term drug therapy should be seen in groups.

Conflict and Mediation

Conflict and Mediation

Dispute Resolution and Mediation

Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, where the mediator takes the role of a neutral third party in assisting two or more parties in dispute to seek some resolution.
Mediation is different from arbitration and conciliation, in that a mediator cannot impose solutions or decisions, however the mediator can facilitate the exploration of issues preventing any joint decisions being achieved.
Dispute Resolution and Family Dispute Resolution
It is now required by the law that separating families make an genuine effort to resolve disputes relating to separation and divorce as an alternative to court. This includes disputes about parenting arrangements and financial matters. A genuine effort to resolve disputes must be made before separating partners can apply to the Family Court. A certificate may be issued by the family dispute resolution practitioner allowing the way for an application to court.
Family Dispute Resolution is a means of resolving the disputes without a third party (the family court) making a decision, and can save time, money and stress.


It is important to appreciate the fact that dispute, conflict, argument, difference and disagreement are an integral, healthy and ordinary part of everyday life.
It is also a fact however that some matters of dispute between people escalate to the point that the parties have less influence over the process and outcome than they would like. The interaction between the parties threatens to get out of hand and out of control. Such disputes are often emotionally paralysing and mentally all consuming for those caught up in the dispute itself. People often behave in ways that they regret and reflect poorly upon them. Aggression, verbal abuse and violence are not at all infrequent in such matters.

An expert mediator, conciliator or arbitrator is a professional and neutral third party who is able to genuinely appreciate the position and perspective of each side to the dispute. Balance is the hallmark of such professionals and they are able to work fairly and equitably with all to achieve a durable resolution of a matter that initially may have appeared intractable.

Psychotherapy Group Starting Shortly

Group Analytic theory provides a model that integrates the intrapsychic with the interpersonal
Group Analysis (or group-analytic psychotherapy) is an established form of group therapy based on the view that deep and lasting change can occur within a carefully constituted group, whose combined membership reflects the wider society.
The group provides a thinking and feeling space without the pressure of being goal directed. Personal issues are explored in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality.
Through the relationships which develop within the group a living demonstration is provided of how past patterns of behaviour can reproduce themselves in the present, blocking growth and creativity. Analysis of this process opens the way for change.
The group also provides a nurturing environment within which it becomes possible to recover from traumatic life experiences. Other therapeutic effects arise from the opportunity to see oneself through the eyes of others, and to participate in the therapy of other group members. Everyone uses the group differently, at their own pace.
How to create a space for thinking and understanding, too much structure may take this away, but do need some management in groups esp kids groups
A structured group sacrifices the essentially analytic approach to the inner world of the child, it can obscure us getting to know the inner conflicts of the person.
A Psychoanalytic group therapist aims to follow the person’s communications and explore the inner workings of the their mind.
Watch out for our understanding yourself group.

How does the group work – the theory

Transference and Countertransference as Basic to Analytic Group Therapy

Because the patient transfers onto the group members/therapist, it allows him/her to form an intensive relationship of dependence, and it reflects the degree of their maturity or the amount of psychopathology present. The therapist should use the transference constructively. It exists, even if he/she is not aware of it or doesn’t use it. The presence and recognition of transference establishes analytic group psychotherapy as distinct from the encounter and humanistic psychology movements. The therapist watches for the transference, uses it, and works it through before a patient leaves the group.
Transference and countertransference differ in the group from that in individual sessions, the definitions from Freud still hold.
* Definition of the Transference:
The concept of transference can only be appreciated in terms of its historical development, different schools emphasise different aspects.
Freud referred to transference as “an almost inexhaustible subject”. The patients’ modes of relating in the therapy group are similar to those they use outside of treatment.
Transference is the process in which a person projects  a pattern of adaption which was developed in a previous life situation to a current life situation; s/he then displaces the affect  from that situation to the present situation.
Although the intensity of the transference on any one individual is reduced, the total emotional feeling is multiplied and intensified by the group situation.
Transference can be observed, clarified, and reduced, with a resulting fundamental change in the personality of the patient.
Transference makes the other person appear to be what they are not. Transference makes the perceived appear to be another.
Characteristics are put into the other that they do not have. It can emphasise or de-emphasise a person out of all proportion. Success in group psychotherapy depends largely on making transference overt, and working through them.