The Importance Of Resistance

The study of resistance in group psychotherapy and what it reveals about the member's core conflicts and interpersonal difficulties is central to psychodynamic and analytic group psychotherapy (Fehr, 2003; Ormont, 1992; Rutan & Stone, 1993). Because resistances in group can also be thought of as transference resistances, we must be prepared to work through these transferences from the members to the therapist, and to each other (Ormont, 1993). This requires the willingness of the group members to work in the "here and now," communicating their immediate reactions (thoughts and feelings) to one another and to the therapist, and the ability of the therapist to foster, through whatever interventions at his or her disposal, this kind of group work. Often, transferences in groups generate intensely negative feelings, which members resist communicating verbally. In this instance, it is essential for the group therapist to help members communicate these feelings verbally, before they become entrenched and threaten the very survival of the group (Rosenthal, 1976).

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