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Group therapy
By Mr Daniel Hansson
Encounter group
• What is it?
• Supporting studies
• How can it be used to treat anorexia
nervosa and major depression?
• Evaluation
• Conclusion
What is it?
• The group is used as a mechanism of
change by developing, exploring and
examining interpersonal relationships
within the group.
• A small group of people, seated in a circle
• Emphasizes awareness, spontaneity,
directness, openness, honesty and
genuine feelings (even for the facilitator)
Examples of group therapy
• Family therapy
• Support groups (e.g. alcoholics
• Skills training groups (e.g. anger
management, relaxation training)
• Drama therapy
Supporting studies
• Yalom’s self report research
• McDermut et al. (2001): A meta-analysis
of studies that show that it is highly
effective for depression
How can it be used to treat
depression and anorexia?
• Support groups where all participants have
had the same experience. May also
involve relatives
• Meet every week
• Share experiences
• Support and motivate each other to
comply with treatment
• More cost effective than individual therapy
• Participants tend to enjoy the experience
• The clinician requires training and
• Supporting research for its effectiveness
• More effective than individual therapy for
higher functioning adults
• Should be used in conjunction with other
treatments, such as drug and individual
therapy (eclectic approach)