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Vol 23, No 3, Article 4, PDF

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Relational Group Process: Developments in a Transactional Analysis Model of Group Psychotherapy, by Richard G. Erskine 

Abstract: This article presents some of the principles of relational group psychotherapy. Several models have influenced the development of relational group psychotherapy, including therapy by the group, therapy by interpretation, therapy in the group, and therapy through the group. The dialectic between the feedback and the person-centred trends in group therapy is described, and an integration of models is proposed. Relational group psychotherapy emphasizes the healing power of relationships among group members, the importance of phenomenological inquiry, affective attunement, validation, respect, identification, and each individual’s relational needs. The leader’s tasks include stimulating the flow of contactful dialogue and teaching about human needs and healthy relationships. 

Key Words: Relational group process, group therapy, group relationships, attunement, confrontation, person-centred, relational needs, respect, shame, Eric Berne, Martin Buber, phenomenological inquiry 

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