Benefits of Being a Member in a Process Group

The Therapeutic Factors

Dr. Irvin Yalom developed an empirically based, 11-factor inventory of the therapeutic mechanisms operating in group psychotherapy, as follows:-

1. Instillation of hope

2. Universality

3. Imparting of information

4. Altruism

5. Development of socializing techniques

6. Imitative behaviour

7. Catharsis

8. Corrective recapitulation of the primary family group

9. Existential factors

10. Group cohesiveness

11. Interpersonal learning

The Benefits

Later, Dr. Yalom conducted a major follow-up piece of qualitative research in which group members themselves identified and ranked the following benefits (therapeutic factors) :

  • Discovering and accepting previously unknown or unacceptable parts of yourself

  • Being able to say what was bothering you instead of holding it in

  • Other members telling you honestly how they experience you

  • Learning how to express your feelings

  • The group's teaching you about the type of impression you make on others

  • Expressing negative and/or positive feelings towards another member

  • Learning that you must take responsibility for the way you live your life, no matter how much guidance and support you get from others

  • Learning how you come across to others

  • Seeing that others can reveal embarrassing informationand take other risks and benefit from it will help you to do the same and take risks

  • Feeling more trustful of groups and other people
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