Conclusions And Contraindications

The use of an inanimate object as a transitional object in group can have a powerful impact on the group as a whole and on individual members who may be experiencing particularly stressful out-of-

group events. The character of the object matters little; what is most important is the symbolic nature of the process by which a crystal or stone (or any small object) may become a support to a group member who is in distress.

Some members who are particularly concrete in their thinking or severely depressed have difficulty experiencing the supportive nature of the transitional object, and these members may report that the token was not helpful. The therapist might encourage this client to have a goal of being able to report to the group his or her disinterest in the crystal or stone. When he or she is feeling comfortable enough with the group to be honest about this disinterest, this client might actually benefit from refusing to accept the token.


Baldwin, A. L. (1967). Theories of Child Development. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Henderson, J. L. (1964). Ancient Myths and Modern Man. In Jung, C. G. (Ed.) Man and His Symbols, (p. 120). New York: Dell Publishing Company. Rutan, S. & Stone, W. N. (2001 ). Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy (Third edition). New York: Guilford Press. Stone, L. J. & Church, J. (1973). Childhood & Adolescence: A Psychology of the

Growing Person. New York: Random House. Yalom, I. (1985). The Theoiy and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (Third edition). New York: Basic Books.

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