Interventions in Groups with Clients Sharing the Same Critical Fact

Cristina Martinez-Taboada Kutz Ainara Arnoso


Among mental health professionals there is a tendency to gather a group of individuals sharing the same critical situation in their lives in order to empower their psychological capacities and social competences. It is a useful way to increase the potential for overcoming an issue(s) they share together.

The group process that is to be discussed is to introduce an intervention that is especially designed for clients who have already shared their personal emotions and have begun to understand what has happened to them. The aim of this intervention is to increase personal strategies related to some kind of social comparison and relationships, which they are expected to confront in their lives at any time.

The conceptual guidance is based on theories of social identity (Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987) as well as the model of psychosocial intervention (Martinez-Taboada, 1992; Marti-nez-Taboada & Arrospide, 1996; Martinez-Taboada, Gonzalez de Medibil, Arnoso, & Elgorriaga, 2006).


The clients, in this particular group, are people who have a critical circumstance in their lives. For example, a diagnosis of chronic ill ness, parents whose child was diagnosed with a particular syndrome, widows, individuals in the early stages of divorce, etc. These groups could be formed with any group of people sharing a common bond and psychological task that makes them feel vulnerable, uncertain, or with an identity struggle that maybe in contradiction to the "norm." The clients should have as a basic premise a wish of overcoming their difficulties and have the cognitive capability to express and share their experiences.

This particular group matrix can be both time limited and open ended. This does not suggest with an open-ended group that clients can come and go as they wish but rather need to commit themselves to at least a certain period of time established between the client and the therapist.

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