a good way to think about this is through the object relations concept of mirroring. it is not quite the same but the notion relates to establishing a trusting relationship in which one can be told the truth about how you are perceived or qualities or traits that you may possess either positive or negative that would be helpful for you to know about as the group becomes more valued its power to influence us may become greater.
catharsis comes from the greek katharsi meaning release particularly of emotion. the notion that once can say what one feels in a safe situation is often highly valued by the psychotherapy patient. w/in the security of a working group setting the individual has the experience of expressing their "true" feelings
appears as a major focus for Yalom. this is possibly due to the fact that this quality of experience is unique to the modality of the group. in groups people gain a sense of meaning and belonging. acceptance by group members has the effect of instilling a sense of acceptability to the patient and this is particularly powerful when it is precisely those issues associated with a feeling of defectiveness become through the group process the very means through which they come to feel acceptable.
this aspect of the group experience is one in which the patient comes to understand something about themselves, perhaps why they react the way they do. while understanding the cause of the behaviors may not change them such understanding does allow the patient to shift their attitude towards such behaviors, makes the behaviors,and the patient more understandable. additionally patients may come to actually see parts of themselves previously unknown to themselves.
this factor is associated more with how the patient can act w/in the group setting. when the group becomes a safe container for the patient the patient can begin to extend themselves into the social environment of the group in ways that they have never before done. thus includes experimentation with different behaviors.
this factor covers a number of things. many people come to groups believing in unrealistic ideas about how life should be. they often feel that their own suffering is due to some defect or failing of their own. in the setting of the group frank discussion regarding life experiences of the group members has the potential to correct this notion and to allow the patient to see that life may often just be full of hardships. in this way they may be able to let go of attachments to suffering and understand that lifes difficulties are not their doing through they remain responsible for how they meet such challenges.
related to what has been said above regarding existential factors, universality is a factor in which the individual patient may come to see that many of the thing that they struggle with are in fact universally experienced phenomena on one level or another. it is rather astounding how profoundly changes people can be when they are capable of discovering that the very things that they struggle so much with actually connects them with others rather than isolates them.
installation of hope
a ubiquitous experience in the field of psychotherapy is hopelessness. the ability for one group member to be able to say to another "ive been there and it did get better" is quite powerful. that this would come from the therapist is never quite so convincing to them as it is coming from a peer. this factor often combines with altruism in that the individual who has the opportunity to say "i got better" also benefits in the process
the capacity to be able to be of help to another human being in need is a powerful antidote to a sense of helplessness and ineffectiveness. knowing that one can effectively help another person empowers them even if they feel that they cannot feel that they can help themselves.
yaloms ideas included the notion that we tend to adapt socially and interpersonally in the context of our family. we tend to carry these relational patterns with us just as the object relationists said we carry with us our early mother child relational patterns. we then tend to re enact these patterns in other group situations. given that these patterns reemerge in group situations it provides us with an opportunity to revisit them in a more therapeutic way. this the "corrective emotional experience". that is that the person can re visit the relationship as it manifests in the preset and change the behavior. this can be an exceptionally powerful experience.
this is an interesting factor. in and of itself advice giving is usually not overtly helpful. yalom comments that he has never seen a situation in which the attempt to find a solution to a problem posed by a patient was vet effective though this is a common occurrence, particularly in the beginning of group. but this sort of action on the part of the group members towards their struggling peer reflects concern and this is of significant value. in such case without perhaps validating or negating the content of the advice, the therapist can draw attention to that concern and to what it signifies at a feeling level.
in the group process patients have the opportunity to observe others and note the traits that they themselves can emulate. this may include seeing others doing what the patient might wish to do, thus gaining the courage to risk those behaviors themselves.
therapeutic aspects in groups
1. group makeup 2.group focus 3.working with group dynamics 4. therapeutic factors 5. transference issues
therapists role in the group
1. setting boundaries 2. level of facilitation or direction 3. modes of facilitation (content and process commentary)
birth-3mo. during this period the infant operates in a closed system and is unaware of most of what surrounds it.
The child senses the mother as a source of warmth and fullness. There begins to be an internalization of a division of qualitative experiences that fall along the lined of "good" and "bad". Even so, there is no differentiation between mother and self.
mahler. establish a separate identity from a mother "which signals the development of a distinctive self-other experience that leads to independence or autonomy in terms of being a "self"
5-6 month to 10 month. centers on perceptual discrimination. vision more sophisticated begins to experience separateness of mother and others. stranger anxiety, investigate world more.
10-16 month about. marked by quadruped locomotion. able to bodily separate from mother. hatching- ability to physically distance self from mother marks beginning of psychological rebirth. still need mother emotionally check what she is doing while playing.
15/18- 30/ two and half years. language ability interacts more on linguistic level. self assertion and separateness come to the fore as child struts almost belligerently flouting newfound independence. new skills. terrible twos or allow child to experience new grounds ability to say no.
3rd year and on. no longer really needs mothers presence can hold image in their head. use something else for comfort. cause and effect. remembering. conscience-can lead to shame or guilt. ego development consequences reality principle seek father.
bipolar intrapsychic representation
Kernberg notes that the "out there" experiences become "in here" experiences by virtue of "Internalization systems". They become metabolized, that is, set up as internalized aspects of the "self". That is, they form the foundations of the personality. (for more on this see Stewart, "The Symbolic Impetus" and Schore "Affect Regulation and the Origins of the Self"). The page ends with the idea that because the child is in a process of ongoing development, these experiences become metabolized at different levels. For example and very young infant (as per Malhers model above) that does not differentiate between self and other, has no self and other concept to hang the "Bipolar" image on. Hence the internalization takes the form of raw, undifferentiated emotion. Later as the child matures, the cild will first move to an internalization process in which the objects or the self become bad or good, or even later to where bad and good are "aspects" of self and other rather than definitive of these two images.
2. Bipolar intrapsychic representations:
a. Image of Self
b. Image of Other
c. Affective Coloring: What affect is at play here?!?!
3. Introjection: taking the view point of others
4. Identification: replaces introjections- its appreciation of others.
5. EGO IDENTITY: Most mature form of functioning