Conclusion And Contraindications

The group therapist needs to work on at least two levels. She or he needs to listen to the content and at the same time listen to the emotional mood in the room. The content is important since it provides the substance for the verbal interaction, but the emotional mood provides the true unspoken and possibly unconscious issues in the room. A well-timed interpretation may make this unspoken and/or unconscious material available for exploration by the group members and may lead to growth.

A contraindication of this intervention is a poorly timed interpretation, which may create a hardening of the defenses and close off potential openness for growth (Yalom & Leszcz, 2005). If the interpretation happened too early in the session the group members may not have considered themselves to be in the same "camp" with the member who spoke and not connected emotionally to her particular tendency to avoid being nurtured.


Agazarian, Y. M. (Ed.) (1989). Group-as-a-whole systems theory and practice.

Group, 13 (3,4), 131-155. Caligor, J., Fieldsteel, N.D. & Brok, A. J. (1984). Individual and Group Therapy,

Combining Psychoanalytic Treatments. New York: Basic Books. Fehr, S.S. (2003). Introduction to Group Therapy: ,4 Practical Guide (Second edition). Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press. Yalom, I.D. & Leszcz, M. (2005). The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (Fifth edition). New York: Basic Books.

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