Some Thoughts on Silence in Group Therapy

Bennett Roth

Silence in psychotherapy is both a regular occurrence and an unwanted phenomenon. The very nature of therapeutic exchanges between patient and therapist rely on spoken language and while pauses in speaking are common, possibly adding significance to what is said, any prolonged absence of speaking represents a form of basic fault in the communication having deeper psychic meaning. Although this is obviously true for dyadic therapy, I have learned that silence is a very different phenomenon in analytic group therapy.

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