The Different Methods of Group Psychotherapy

  • Raymond Battegay


The term Group Psychotherapy comprehends different meanings. In general however, it designates a treatment method in which three or more persons treated by one or two therapists endeavour to reach a psychotherapeutic aim. But also methods are ascribed, in which several therapists are treating one patient. Furthermore, methods are included in the term Group Psychotherapy, in which one, two or possibly more therapists, together with a group of patients, strive after one patient. — Mostly, a therapeutic group is composed of 7 to 9 members (small groups), but there are also group psychotherapies which are formed by larger collectives, composed of 20 to 100 participants (large groups). — According to the comprehension of the group either as a totality or only as a common situation which is made up by the members, group psychotherapy can be done in, with or through the group. Another characteristic point of differentiation may be the criterion if group psychotherapy is led as only treatment method or if it is combined with an individual psychotherapy — by the same or by another therapist. If both treatments are done by the same psychotherapist, an integrated treatment in both therapies is guaranteed, but transference conflicts are possible since on one hand the member who is accepted for individual sessions may experience this as a privilege, whereas, on the other hand, the other members may feel disfavoured.


Group Psychotherapy Individual Session Therapeutic Group Individual Psychotherapy Hand Method 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Battegay
    • 1
  1. 1.Basle University Psychiatric Out-Patient DepartmentUniversity of Basle KantonsspitalBasleSwitzerland

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