Group Development in Practice: Guidance for Clinicians and Researchers on Stages and Dynamics of Change

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Overview

Group development, a key factor in treatment effectiveness, is discussed in virtually every introductory text on group psychotherapy. This is the first book devoted exclusively to this process. In this volume, Virginia Brabender and April Fallon chronicle the rich history of group development research, survey modern theories of group development, and introduce their five-stage model of group development. The authors demonstrate the importance of group identity to the achievement of treatment goals through a series of vivid, real-life vignettes that illustrate the characteristic behavior of group members at each stage. Their developmental perspective can be applied not only to traditional unstructured groups but also to focused, time-limited groups in inpatient and outpatient settings and to the emerging world of cybergroups. In its comprehensive scope and attention to detail, Group Development in Practice: Guidance for Clinicians and Researchers on Stages and Dynamics of Change will be a vital resource for experienced clinicians, therapists new to group psychotherapy, and researchers interested in developing or refining theoretical approaches to group psychotherapy.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: The authors introduce their own five-stage model of group development in this book, including the tasks of both the group members and leaders.
Purpose: According to the authors, "our primary goal is to provide readers with an in-depth coverage of group development, historically and contemporaneously, focusing on theory; research; and, of course, practice. They note that although they "describe the literature on child and adolescent groups that bears on the topic, this book is primarily about group development as it pertains to adult psychotherapy groups."
Audience: They intend their book for experienced group psychotherapists, therapists relatively new to group psychotherapy, and graduate students and others in training in various disciplines, including clinical and counseling psychology, clinical social work, psychiatry, couples and family work, and pastoral counseling. In addition, they feel the book would be useful for "researchers and those interested in developing or refining theoretical approaches for group psychotherapy." Dr. Brabender is the associate dean and director of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology of Widener University in Pennsylvania and Dr. Fallon is on the faculty of the Fielding Graduate University in California and associate professor at Drexel University in Pennsylvania.
Features: This book begins with theoretical concepts and research. The authors then introduce their five-stage model of group development: formation and engagement; conflict and rebellion; unity and intimacy; integration and work; and termination. It ends with future directions for contextual group variables. The book is readable, with helpful tables and exhibits. The authors present wonderful vignettes which help readers understand group therapy as it is displayed in the clinical session. The vignettes contain both characteristic behavior of members and tasks and conflicts. Other helpful features include a glossary and an author and subject index. I really enjoyed how the authors integrate their five-stage model with various group approaches including cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, and behavioral (chapter 7). Their discussion of constructivism and social constructionism in chapter 8 is fascinating in the way it shows how they are related to group development.
Assessment: This is an excellent book for understanding group dynamics and development. It is useful for both novice therapists and seasoned veterans. The instructive vignettes show how the concepts relate to clinical practice. It compares favorably to Groups: A Counseling Specialty, 5th edition, by Gladding (Prentice Hall, 2007), and The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, 5th edition, by Yalon (Basic Books, 2005). Either one of these can probably be a standalone text for a graduate class, where Group Development in Practice is not comprehensive in the same way. However, this is a good instructional tool for learning about group therapy and readers will not be disappointed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433804083
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association
  • Publication date: 11/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents


Ch. 1 Introduction to Stage Development in Psychotherapy Groups 3 I Group Development: Benefits, Theory, and Research 9 Ch. 2 Advantages of a Developmental Approach to Group Psychotherapy 11 Ch. 3 Theoretical History of Group Development in Its Application to Psychotherapy Groups 27 Ch. 4 Empirical Investigations of Group Development 63 II A Five-Stage Model of Group Development 97 Ch. 5 An Illustration of a Group Through Its Development 99 Ch. 6 Developmentally Focused Leadership Activities of the Therapist 133 Ch. 7 Stage Development With Structured Group Approaches to Psychotherapy: Cognitive, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Behavioral 161 Ch. 8 Postmodern Approaches and Group Psychotherapy: Clinical and Developmental Implications 197 III The Future of Developmentally Relevant Theory, Research, and Practice 223 Ch. 9 Contextual Variables Requiring Further Examination 225 Ch. 10 Group Development: Integrating Theory, Research, and Practice 249 Glossary 269 References 275 Author Index 299 Subject Index 305
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