Suggesting his interpretation of group therapy and introducing the factors that supposedly affect the therapy outcomes, Trull has clearly made a breakthrough in the realm of psychotherapy. While each of these factors can be traced in any intervention process, some of them affect the curative process to a greater degree than others. In the video concerning a therapy session carried out for five participants, several key curative factors can be observed, yet only four of them play the pivoting role in the intervention outcomes.
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One must admit, though, that planting the concept of altruism into the group in order to carry out the therapy successfully is not an easy task. As the video records show, the concept of altruism was not pushed into the therapy procedure forcefully; quite on the contrary, the woman leading the procedure stated in a rather straightforward manner that any instances of breach of ethics would be quite understandable.
However, it was her trust with the participants of the procedure that created the atmosphere, which was favorable for further altruistic relationships development: “I can’t promise that everyone else will respect the confidentiality of the group, but I think I know you all well enough to think that it will be the case” (Video 12.1: Group therapy, n. d., 0:38–0:40).
Instilling hope in the patients (Yalom, 2005) was another essential part of the therapy. On the one hand, one might argue that the group leader was in the shadow, for the most part, leaving the discussion to the participants, which clearly was the best tactics possible for the group members to relate to each other and trust each other fully. On the other hand, the leader of the group managed to instill hope into the participants almost immediately.
The aforementioned effect was achieved by stressing the participants’ previous progress with such phrases as “what you have been working on” (Video 12.1: Group therapy, n. d., 0:57–0:58) and expressing strong belief in the session’s success.
It was also important that the universality principle could be observed as the session went on. After the patients felt relaxed enough, they managed to relate to the other participants and their stories. The participants have managed to find the links between their unique individual problems by linking such events as job issues and childhood experiences (Video 12.1: Group therapy, n. d., 02:53–02:54).
Finally, such a crucial element as the catharsis could also be observed in the process of the therapy. Defined by Trull as establishing the “capacity for mutual trust and understanding” (Trull & Prinstein, 2013, p. 439), the given element of the therapy could be traced rather easily in the way that the participants talked to each other in the middle of the session.
Such moments as the immediate commentary on the young woman’s story about her finally having the heart to talk to her boss about the business proposition: “I think we all have blind spots that we don’t necessarily recognize until someone points them out to us” (Video 12.1: Group therapy, n. d., 0:35–0:36) show clearly that the members of the group have become involved with each other’s issues.
Despite the fact that each of the curative factors identified by Trull is crucial for successful healthcare therapy results, in the video of the session provided, only four out of the nine factors stand out of the rest. Predetermining the session outcomes and shaping the efficacy of the therapy, they have been considered by the therapist, which resulted in a successful therapy process.
Unless the therapist had instilled hope in the patients, introduced the principle of altruism into the group and helped the patients reach the catharsis, it would have been impossible to create the premises for the patient’s fast recovery.
Trull, T. & Prinstein, M. J. (2013). Clinical psychology (8th ed.). Stanford, CT: Cengage Learning. Video 12.1: Group therapy. Web.
Yalom, I. M. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy. New York, NY: Basic Books.