Conclusion And Contraindications

It is noteworthy that something as fundamental as setting up the therapy room is given so little direct attention in the literature, presumably because the answer seems obvious. It is not so clear. My primary motivation for arguing for the model I have discussed (chairs for all enrolled members, no more, no less) is that it helps the group therapist avoid the shame that I think is present in many group therapists when they have to signify, week after week, that they do not have a complete group. Second, using this model, the group members will have a consistent and continuous sense of who is in the group as an active member, whether they are present or not for any particular meeting.

The model is contraindicated if the group therapist is genuinely comfortable with his or her chair arrangement, and if the group is able to profit from exploring this aspect of the group therapeutically. "If the chair is not broke, don't fix it."


Brabender, V. A., Fallon, A. E., & Smolar, A. I. (2004). Essentials of group therapy.

Hoboken. NJ: Wiley. Fehr, S. S. (2003). Introduction to group therapy (Second edition). Binghamton,

NY: The Haworth Press. Friedman, W. H. (1994). How to do groups (Second edition). Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.

Pinney, Jr., E. (1970). A first group psychotherapy hook. Springfield, IL: C.C. Thomas.

Rutan, J. S., & Stone, W. N. (2001). Psychodynamic group psychotherapy (Third edition). New York: Guilford. Rutan, J. S., Stone, W. N., & Shay, J. J. (2007). Psychodynamic group psychotherapy (Fourth edition). New York: Guilford.

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