Evidence Bases for Group Practice

Sally H. Barlow

in The Oxford Handbook of Group Counseling

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195394450
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Evidence Bases for Group Practice

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  • Counselling Psychology



Group treatments represent an efficacious and efficient mental health intervention that rivals and at times exceeds individual therapy outcomes. Group psychotherapy capitalizes upon group processes that replicate at the micro level the macro struggle for equal access to life-affirming mental health. Change processes occur as skilled group therapists invoke therapeutic factors within the group climate to promote client change. Because group members approach groups with equal parts hope and dread, it is important that mental health professionals keep current with research process and outcome evidence, which has been aided by filtered databases such as the Cochrane Library. One hundred years of research on group psychology and group psychotherapy have yielded helpful reviews, relevant themes, and meta-analyses on group vs. individual outcomes, although a few methodological problems remain given the highly complex nature of groups. Researchers, practicing clinicians, and future clinicians will benefit from exchanges with each other as evidence bases inform expert intervention for participating group members who seek positive change.

Keywords: group psychotherapy; evidence-based medicine; evidence-based psychology; group research

Article.  13067 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology

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