Conclusions And Contraindications

The vignette illustrates how directly and forcefully confronting resistance can aid a group in becoming unstuck (Fehr, 2003), and in this case was imperative to deal directly with a treatment-destructive resistance (Rosenthal, 1987). The stepwise delineation of the intervention is meant only as a guide to thinking about how to intervene in such a situation, and in no way is meant to convey that this intervention can work in all situations where a group is stuck. The first step, examining the induced feelings of the therapist, is a multilayered process, which should involve consultation with supervisors, one's own therapist, and/or a careful self-analysis of one's emotional response to the group. It is not based upon an in-the-moment assessment that leads to a quick and impulsive construction of an intervention when so much is at stake. It is recommended that all group therapists considering such an intervention engage in such a process of self-exploration.

In fact, it is because of the very emotional response this therapist had to the group that some time and care was taken to formulate the intervention (between the session in which the members announced an intention to leave, and the subsequent session). Second, knowledge of the members' individual characteristics, capacities for emotional stimulation, self-awareness, and personal histories is essential in helping the therapist navigate the intense exchange that follows any such confrontation. Finally, it is essential to emphasize that the intervention began with a confrontation that was based in behavioral observation, devoid of interpretation and speculation which can derail examination of resistances (Ormont, 1992), and as the leader I used myself to regulate the emotional excitation of the group, what Rosenthal ( 1999) refers to as the "thermostatic function" of the group psychotherapist or analyst.

REFERENCES

Fehr, S.S. (2003). Introduction to Group Therapy: A Practical Guide (Second edition). Binghamton, NY; The Haworth Press. Ormont, L. R. (1992). The group therapy experience: From theory to practice. New

York: St. Martin's Press. Ormont, L. R. (1993). Resolving resistances to immediacy in the group setting. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 43, 399-418. Rosenthal, L. (1976). The resolution of group destructive resistance in modern group analysis. Modern Psychoanalysis, 30(2), 72-82. Rosenthal, L. ( 1987). Resolving resistance in group psychotherapy. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc.

Rosenthal, L. ( 1999). The thermostatic function of the group analyst: Regulating the degree of stimulation in the group. Modern Psychoanalysis, 24(2), 157-164. Rutan, J. S. & Stone, W. N. (1993). Psychodynamic group psychotherapy (Second edition). New York: The Guilford Press.

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