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Chapter 6: Therapist – Working in the Here and Now. The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy Irvin Yalom, Ph.D. Working in the Here and Now. What is a major difference between a psycho educational group and process/psychotherapy group?. Working in the Here and Now.

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Chapter 6: Therapist – Working in the Here and Now

The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

Irvin Yalom, Ph.D


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Working in the Here and Now

  • What is a major difference between a psycho educational group and process/psychotherapy group?


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Working in the Here and Now

  • The focus of the here and now requires two factors through out the process.

  • 1. Focusing on the current moment which takes on a greater priority than the past and future.

    • facilitates the emergence of each member’s social microcosm.

      2. The Illumination of the Process

      - It reflects on recent here and now behaviors in order to add the cognitive understanding or component of what occurred.


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Working in the Here and Now

  • The directing the group to the here and now can be shared with the group members.

  • self reflection remains the predominant responsibility of the therapist.


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Working in the Here and Now

  • In the reflection aspect, the clinician needs to focus on the Meta communicational level. Example p 132

  • The central route of communication or content (i.e. the data).

  • The peripheral route of communication or the presentation (i.e. how, when and tone).


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Working in the Here and Now

  • The processing of the here and now is a very unique feature to the group therapy experience.

    • USUALLY, this will differentiate it from a psychoeducational group.

    • Additionally, a psychoeducational group will be more restricted to the assigned theme for that group.

  • Where else are you able to comment about another’s behavior (positive or negative) without being seen as arrogant, condescending, neurotic, patronizing, etc.

  • This process sometimes evokes early memories of parental criticism.


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Working in the Here and Now

  • Hence, it is associated with socialization anxiety.

  • Additionally, if it occurred all the time society would become intolerably self conscious. Consider Freud and Jung correspondence.

  • Another reason for the lack of here and now is the fear of retaliation.


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Working in the Here and Now

  • It also leads to power equalization,

    • It is also this process of illumination that sets the therapist apart from the other group members.

    • This makes the clinician an observer- participant.

    • Group members can make process comments but it should not be out of defensive behaviors.


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