Categories
Announcements APA Programming Awards

Dr. Yalom to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award and Give Live Interview in San Francisco

Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D.
Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D.

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Irv Yalom, author of the seminal text, Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (2005), now in its fifth edition, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Division 49 at the 2018 APA National Convention in San Francisco.  His writing on group also includes other world-renowned titles such Inpatient Group Therapy (1983) and a work of fiction, The Schopenhauer Cure (2006). Dr. Yalom has also produced several videos on group psychotherapy that have served as teaching aids worldwide for decades. His writing, videos, theorizing and research have had a profound impact on group therapy around the world, and this award recognizes both the depth and breadth of his contributions to group.

After receiving this award, Dr. Yalom will then give a live interview, answering questions about his lifetime in group. We are asking for your contributions to this!  Please go to our Facebook page, twitter feed and email address and submit questions you want Dr. Yalom to answer.  We will then select some of the questions to ask him from these contributions.

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco and hope you can make it to this award ceremony and interview.

Categories
Announcements

Open Call for Evidence-Based Case Studies and Practice Reviews for Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice

Open Call for Evidence-Based Case Studies and Practice Reviews for Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice
By: George Tasca, Ph.D.,
Incoming Editor, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice

Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.
Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.

Group Dynamics, the Journal of the Society for Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy, announces two new article types, to begin publishing in 2019: Evidence-Based Case Studies and Practice Reviews. Group practice for these calls is defined broadly to include therapy groups, teams, organizations, and other group contexts. The editor has issued an open call for submissions for both article types.

The goal of the Evidenced-Based Case Studies will be to integrate verbatim case material with standardized empirical measures of process and outcome evaluated at different times during the life of the group, team or organization. That is, authors should describe vignettes highlighting key interventions, processes, and mechanisms regarding their specific approach in the context of empirical scales.

Meanwhile, the aim of the Practice Review is to clarify, as much as the current state of knowledge permits, what empirically-derived findings in a given area imply for practice. In this type of review article, the reviewer begins the process with the intent of deriving implications for practice from the research and theory. The key question of a Practice Review is: “What is the most likely relationship between these variables, and what does that relationship imply for the group practitioner?”

Examples and detailed guidelines for both article types can be found on the journal webpage, www.apa.org/pubs/journals/gdn. Authors who are interested in submitting either article type are encouraged to contact the editor.

 

Categories
Announcements Columns

Jill Paquin Appointed Editor of International Journal of Group Psychotherapy

Jill Paquin Appointed Editor of International Journal of Group Psychotherapy
By: Rebecca MacNair-Semands, Ph.D.

Rebecca MacNair-Semands, PhD, CGP
Rebecca MacNair-Semands, PhD, CGP

It is fitting that our first female editor appointed to International Journal of Group Psychotherapy (IJGP) has contributed widely to group psychotherapy teaching, training, research, and professional practice. We first came to know Dr. Jill Paquin’s work as a APA division 49 board member. In 2014, while serving on the current Science to Service Task Force of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), we invited her to join this work group. Dr. Paquin began her service on the Science to Service Task Force when we were creating new content for the website related to evidence-based practices in groups. She was clearly skilled and passionate around how to translate research findings to the larger practice community, who use the information and implications to better serve group members. She volunteered readily for several projects, always met deadlines, and quickly jumped into the work with vigor. One example of this is that she offered to write the introduction to the entire website series. Also, together with the past AGPA President, Dr. Les Greene, she co-authored the section on group therapy for trauma and PTSD.  She then volunteered to work with another author to review and provide editorial feedback on the upcoming AGPA Principles of Group Psychotherapy curriculum.

Jill Paquin, PhD
Jill Paquin, Ph.D.

Dr. Paquin began gaining editorial experience early in her professional career, reviewing for the Journal of Group Dynamics and the Journal of Counseling Psychology, both for over four years prior to an invited to the editorial boards of these journals. Known for their rigor and high impact, this is quite an accomplishment for a young professional. She served as ad-hoc reviewer for both Psychotherapy and The Counseling Psychologist during this time, and also joined the editorial board of the Counselling Psychology Quarterly (CPQ), an international journal. She clearly values rigorous research, emphasizing qualitative and quantitative research with sound methodology. She also has experience with the Consensual Qualitative Research and Grounded Theory qualitative methods.

I value Jill’s ability as a group dynamics scholar, a skilled group psychologist, and a full-time assistant professor. She has done all this work while also raising a family in the midst of numerous duties. In her role at Chatham University she has focused on small group dynamics, the intersection of multicultural competence and evidence-based practice, career experiences of women working in STEM fields, and small group interactions entitled “Intergroup Dialogues.” Her scholarship and training has focused on helping develop the “clinician-researcher” identity as one way to bridge the gap between research and practice (particularly with the special issue she guest-edited for CPQ). She often examines therapeutic factors as well as leader behaviors that affect connections within groups. She was the first person to both study absences and their impact on the therapy group and to examine person-group fit from the I/O lit in group psychotherapy.

Dr. Paquin’s scholarship and expertise in the area of group psychology has been recognized both nationally and internationally. As an invited presenter, she often taught diversity and inclusion symposiums that made an impact on others learning how to effectively teach multicultural material to students in an effective and efficient manner. Integrating multicultural competence/social justice perspectives with therapy practice, including group work, is another strength. Having seen her in action, these programs were not only well received, but also experiential and practical in nature during crucial developmental years in our field. She has been active at the American Psychological Association annual conference, often having multiple presentations since the beginning of her involvement almost 11 years ago. As you can see, Dr. Paquin’s contributions are wide-ranging in her research, teaching/training, editorial, and clinical practice sectors of the group literature.

Categories
Announcements APA Programming

Division 49 Programming at 2018 APA Convention

Debra O'Connell, Ph.D.
Debra O’Connell, Ph.D.

We hope to see you in San Francisco!

2018 Programming Schedule with Rooms (07.09.18)

Categories
Columns Leadership Welcome

President’s Column: Irvin Yalom and the Fiction in Stories of Group Therapy

Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.
Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.

At this year’s APA convention I will have the honour to introduce Irvin Yalom at a special conversation hour on Thursday August 9 at 11am. Dr. Yalom will receive an award from our Division celebrating his lifetime of work as it pertains to group psychotherapy, and acknowledging the great influence he has had on the field of study and practice. My first initiation to Yalom’s writings was as an intern back in the 20th century. I was given his book The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (3rd edition), and told to read it by my supervisor because I was to participate in an inpatient group with her the next morning. Well, for those of you who know The Book, it’s not a volume that one reads in a day, rather one studies it over many days/weeks/months/years. Nevertheless, I gamely pored over it, understanding some but not much of the content. All I remember from the next day’s group was that most of what happened went over my head, and that my supervisor seemed to know what she was doing, though I didn’t know why. Maybe that is why it felt that the post-group discussions that day (and others in which I’ve participated over the years) seemed like fiction to me – that is, narratives constructed by therapists to make sense of what had occurred. I wonder if that is why Irvin Yalom turned to fiction particularly later in his career when trying to bring to life the complexity and mystery of what occurs in human interactions and group psychotherapy in particular. In Every Day Gets a Little Closer, Yalom told a true (?) story of treating a young writer, Ginny, who had writer’s block and limited funds to pay for treatment. They struck a deal in which Yalom and Ginny wrote parallel journals of each therapy session. Sure, there were some similarities in what they wrote, but there were also striking disparities that showed how widely two people can diverge in their narratives of the same events. Was this two people simply telling their versions of what occurred or was this fiction? What happens when you put 8 people together in a group – do we get 8 versions of events? Recently, a member of one of my groups, Jim, retold a distressing incident that occurred several weeks ago, but this time he described the event with considerably less distress and even flippantly. Another group member piped up and said: “that’s not how you described it last time!” What ensued was one of those discussions in group therapy about who said what, that as an intern I would have found pointless. Except it’s not pointless. People construct narratives (fictions?), and the narratives say something about who we are and how and what we need to do to manage. And just as importantly, the construction of the narratives tells us something about the nature of the relationships we are in when recounting the story. Jim needed to retell the story to his self and to the group differently this time, and to some extent this said something about his relationship to the group. In his novel When Nietzsche Wept, Yalom writes in part about the start of modern psychotherapy through a fictional encounter between Friedrich Nietzsche and Joseph Breuer. Psychotherapy, or psychoanalysis, likely had its start with Studies in Hysteria by Breuer and Freud – including the Case of Anna O. So, why did Yalom write of a fictional encounter between two historical figures to describe the birth of “the talking cure”, when perfectly good case studies written by the founders already existed? Was Yalom’s fiction more compelling or instructive than Breuer and Freud’s truth (can one even say that Studies in Hysteria was the truth)? Similarly, what I wrote in a few lines about Jim and my group was a distillation of a 90-minute session and a longer history of relationships between group members – how “true” can that be? (Should we go down that rabbit hole?). Irvin Yalom has had an important impact on my work and on my outlook on what I do as a group psychotherapist and group researcher. Some of that impact has come from his scholarly work (especially The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy), but his fiction and his “non-fiction” has had an equal impact. I will try not to gush when introducing him on August 9th, but I may not be able to help myself – and that’s the truth, I think.

Categories
Minutes

2018 Mid-Winter Meeting Notes

Joe Miles, Ph.D.
Joe Miles, Ph.D.

PDF file of 2018 Division 49 Mid Winter Meeting Summary

Categories
Awards

Travel Grants

Apply for Money to Study Groups:  Division 49 Foundation Awards!

Today more than ever, our work as group therapists is challenged as Group Psychotherapy continues to be absent from the list of Specialty Designations in psychology.  We urge many of you to consider applying for either of this year’s two grants, which help supports the study of group psychology and group psychotherapy.   Not up for research at this time?  Then please consider sharing with your colleagues or students!  These grants are great ways to build on our knowledge base and help with costs to conduct small research studies.  The deadline for both of these grants is June 1, 2018. For more information on who is eligible and how to apply, please visit http://www.apadivisions.org/division-49/awards/index.aspx

The APF Div. 49 Group Psychology Grant ($2,000) supports innovative group psychology research focused toward groups in applied settings.

The Group Psychology Grant focuses primarily on processes and performance in non-disordered populations. This may also include members’ beliefs about and identification with the group. Samples of topics appropriate for the group psychology award include (but are not limited to):

  • Impact of individual differences (e.g., personality), beliefs (e.g., identification with the group), and situational or structural factors (e.g., within-group conflict, virtuality) on group processes, judgment, decision making, or performance.
  • Impact of group interaction on member states such as beliefs, affect, interest in affiliation, and identification with the group.
  • Differences in leadership and its impact on group process or performance
  • Measurement of group-level constructs such as team emotional intelligence, group cohesion, collective resilience, collective efficacy, etc.

The APF Div. 49 Group Psychotherapy Grant ($2,000) supports innovative group psychotherapy research applied to small groups in a naturalistic setting.

The Group Psychotherapy Grant focuses primarily on groups in a therapeutic context. Issues such as effectiveness of different approaches to group therapy would fall under this area.  Although this will often involve studies of group psychotherapy, it may also include other groups with health implications (e.g., support groups for smoking cessation, weight loss, etc.). Samples of topics appropriate for the group psychotherapy award include (but are not limited to):

  • Efficacy of group therapy for specific disorders
  • Impact of member individual differences, including gender, personality, prior duration of disorder, or comorbidity, on effectiveness of group therapy
  • Relative efficacy of different modes of therapy (e.g., comparing group to individual) or different communication styles (e.g., use of referential language) within or across disorders
  • The role of group climate in the effectiveness of group therapy

 

 

Categories
Announcements

Dr. Yalom to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Yalom to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award and Give Live Interview in San Francisco 
Martyn Whittingham, Ph.D., President-Elect

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Irv Yalom, author of the seminal text, Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (2005), now in its fifth edition, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Division 49 at the 2018 APA National Convention in San Francisco.  His writing on group also includes other world-renowned titles such Inpatient Group Therapy (1983) and a work of fiction, The Schopenhauer Cure (2006). Dr. Yalom has also produced several videos on group psychotherapy that have served as teaching aids worldwide for decades. His writing, videos, theorizing and research have had a profound impact on group therapy around the world, and this award recognizes both the depth and breadth of his contributions to group.

After receiving this award, Dr. Yalom will then give a live interview, answering questions about his lifetime in group. We are asking for your contributions to this!  Please go to our Facebook page, twitter feed and email address and submit questions you want Dr. Yalom to answer.  We will then select some of the questions to ask him from these contributions.

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco and hope you can make it to this award ceremony and interview.

 

Categories
News

George Tasca Named Editor of Group Dynamics

Tasca Selected as Next Editor of Group Dynamics; Term to Begin in 2019

Dr. Giorgio Tasca has been selected by the Division 49 Executive Committee as the next editor of Group Dynamics.  Dr. Tasca currently serves the division as President-Elect.  He will assume editorship in January 2019, after completion of his term as division President.  The Executive Committee has asked current editor David Marcus to extend his term by one year through December 2018, and he has agreed to do so.

Dr. Tasca is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa.  He is an expert on attachment theory and its influence on eating disorders; group therapeutic approaches to the treatment of eating disorders; and application of statistical modeling approaches to group data.  In 2016 he guest-edited an issue of Group Dynamics on statistical methods in group psychology and group psychotherapy, and prior to that served as both an Associate Editor (2012 – 2015) and Consulting Editor (2008 – 2011) for the journal.

To assist with the transition, the Executive Committee has elevated Associate Editor Jay Jackson to the position of Senior Associate Editor.  Dr. Jackson will continue to serve the journal in this capacity after Dr. Tasca takes over.  Dr. Jackson is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne.  He is completing his seventh year as an Associate Editor of Group Dynamics.  He is an expert on intergroup relations, with particular emphases on expression of intergroup hostility, and the influence of goal conflict on cooperation in mixed-motive settings.  He also has expertise in group decision-making and social identity.

Categories
Brief Articles

Explaining Therapeutic Change in Residential Wilderness Therapy Groups

Lee Gillis, PhD
Lee Gillis, Ph.D.
Keith Russell, Ph.D.
Keith Russell, Ph.D.

Residential wilderness therapy or adventure therapy is “the prescriptive use of adventure experiences provided by mental health professionals, often conducted in natural settings that kinesthetically engage clients on cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels.” (Gass, Gillis & Russell, 2012 p.1).  The term adventure therapy is used in the literature interchangeably with “wilderness therapy” (Russell, 2001) and “outdoor behavioral healthcare (OBH)” (Russell & Hendee, 2000).  All these terms refer to treatment that takes place with small groups often in outdoor settings utilizing either short (1-5 days) forays into nature or extended expeditions (14-60 days) where participants are immersed in a wilderness setting. White’s (2015) history of the field points to an evolutionary tree for adventure therapy whose DNA includes therapeutic summer camps, Boy Scouts, Outward Bound, and even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The recorded history of this therapeutic intervention dates back to 1861.

How does Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare look in practice?

Therapeutic outdoor experiences typically occur in small groups (4-8 clients). Most of the groups are “open” with clients entering and leaving as they go through intake or discharge; it is rare these days to have a cohort of clients who go through a whole program together.  Thus, the group climate can be in constant flux and how congruent a member’s perceptions are with the rest of the group has been found to have implications for treatment progress. At least that is the premise put forth in the Gillis, Kivlighan, & Russell (2016) manuscript in volume 53 of Psychotherapy.

Theoretically, the OBH group therapy that takes place has the members’ shared experience(s) of paddling, hiking, rock climbing, etc. on which to reflect and give feedback to one another.  Individuals set therapeutic intentions prior to an outing and project when they may have opportunities to engage in that intention.  For example, prior to a recent river crossing, one group member, based on his past history with the group, wanted to step up and take the lead with his peers as he had been sitting back and letting others take charge in previous activities.  He projected that once they arrive at the river would be his first opportunity to step forward.  Conversely, another group member stated his therapeutic intention was to stay quiet and listen to others as he had previously blurted out what he was thinking with little regard for what other group members wanted to do.  In each case the group members offered suggestions to clarify the intentions and question how they might see it realized.  The intentions are written down in the group room and then used as the basis for feedback in the group session following the experience.

Many of us who embrace this particular experiential approach find a strong foundation in principles of Gestalt Therapy, Psychodrama, and Carl Rogers’ Person Centered groups while grounding ourselves in evidence based cognitive behavioral approaches to treatment.  The conscious and intentional use of metaphor (Bacon, 1983; Gass, 1991), influenced by Milton Erickson’s work, is also prominent among many adventure therapists.  For example, the river crossing mentioned above provides numerous therapeutic metaphors to discuss in a group session whether they be being mindful of how one steps forward in life when the footing is unsteady or simply the challenges of getting from one place to another (one side of the river to the other).

Making sense of the adventure therapy group climate black box

The metaphor of a “black box” (Ashby, 1956) is often used when trying to make inferences about how change takes place within a program when examining only inputs (pretests) and outputs (posttests). Positive pre to post treatment changes in client progress as measured by the Outcome Questionnaire 45.2 (OQ 45.2) (Lambert & Finch, 1999) and Youth Outcome Questionnaire 2.0 SR (YOQ 2.0 SR) (Bulingame, et al 1996) during adventure therapy experiences for adolescents and young adults has been well documented (c.f., Bettmann et al., 2016, Gillis, et al. 2016, Norton et al, 2014). Meta-analyses have consistently demonstrated moderate (d = 0.45) effect sizes for adventure therapy (c.f., Bowen, Neill & Crisp, 2016; Cason & Gillis, 1994).

Russell, Gillis, & Heppner (2016) recently found that changes in the non-reactive factor of trait mindfulness (Baer, et al., 2008) helped explain OQ 45.2 change in young adults being treated for substance use disorder in an OBH program despite the program studied not having formal mindfulness training.  The authors posited adventure therapy as a mindfulness-based experience (MBE) especially when involved in reflecting on their excursions into the wilderness with explicitly stated therapeutic goals to achieve while out on trail.

The global changes in the non-reactive mindfulness factor among clients does not examine how engagement in the group experience influences outcome.  That was the purpose of the Gillis et al. (2016) manuscript in volume 53 of Psychotherapy. We examined how other member and person context moderate the relationship between group members’ perceptions of engagement and their treatment outcome using the actor partner interdependence model (APIM).

When the other group members generally see the group climate as engaged, higher general perceptions of engagement for the member are related to fewer depression and anxiety symptoms, clarity of social roles and interpersonal relationships.

When the other group members generally see the climate as not engaged, higher general perceptions of engagement for the member are related to more problems.

When the group member generally sees the climate as engaged, higher member biweekly perceptions of engagement related to fewer problems during that 2-week period.

When the member generally sees the climate as not engaged, higher biweekly perceptions of engagement for the member are unrelated to changes in problems.

Summary and Conclusions

In essence, this research is highlighting the role that congruence in member, group, and leader perceptions play in effectuating treatment outcome. When these perceptions become misaligned, individual client well-being can be affected, which in turn could create a cascading effect, leading to isolation and withdrawal from the group, thus affecting overall group engagement.  Monitoring these perceptions of engagement in conjunction with progress monitoring is warranted.  Practical implications for group therapists are to routinely monitor how group members view the group climate.

In this article we used the five item engagement subscale of MacKenzie’s (1983) Group Climate Questionnaire. We have recently switched to the Group Questionnaire available at oqmeasures.com in an attempt to examine how the three factor structure (positive bonding, positive working, and negative relationship) might provide more information to both therapist and to group members when used in progress monitoring. We will continue to examine the effects that bonding and working relationships has on treatment outcome both in the moment and during the weeks prior to group and community meetings because of our preliminary findings.

Finally, as authors, we are deeply indebted to Dr. Dennis Kivlighan for the APIM analysis and mentorship with the statistics!

References

Ashby, W. R. (1956). An introduction to cybernetics. An introduction to cybernetics. London: Chapman & Hall Ltd

Bacon, S. B. (1983). The conscious use of metaphor in Outward Bound. Denver, CO: Colorado Outward Bound School

Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S., Walsh, E., Duggan, D., & Williams, J. M. G. (2008). Construct validity of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire in meditating and no meditating samples. Assessment, 15(3), 329-342.

Bettmann, J. E., Gillis, H. L., Speelman, E. A., Parry, K. J., & Case, J. M. (2016). A meta-analysis of wilderness therapy outcomes for private pay clients. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1-15.

Bowen, D. J., Neill, J. T., & Crisp, S. J. (2016). Wilderness adventure therapy effects on the mental health of youth participants. Evaluation and Program Planning, 58, 49-49.

Burlingame, G. M., Wells, M. G., Hoag, M. J., Hope, C. A., Nebeker, R. S., Konkel, K., McCollam, P., & Reisenger, C.W. (1996). Manual for youth outcome questionnaire (Y-OQ). Stevenson, MD: American Professional Credentialing Services.

Cason, D. & Gillis, H.L. (1994). A meta-analysis of outdoor adventure programming with adolescents. Journal of Experiential Education17(1), 40-47.

Gass, M. A., Gillis, H. L., & Russell, K. C. (2012). Adventure therapy: Theory, practice, & research. NY: Routledge Publishing Company

Gass, M. A. (1991). Enhancing metaphor development in adventure therapy programs. Journal of Experiential Education14(2), 6-13.

Gillis Jr, H. L., Speelman, E., Linville, N., Bailey, E., Kalle, A., Oglesbee, N.,Sandlin, J., Thompson, L., & Jensen, J. (2016). Meta-analysis of treatment outcomes measured by the Y-OQ and Y-OQ-SR comparing wilderness and non-wilderness treatment programs. Child & Youth Care Forum, 45, 851-863

Gillis, H. L. (L.), Jr., Kivlighan, D. M., Jr., & Russell, K. C. (2016). Between-client and within-client engagement and outcome in a residential wilderness treatment group: An actor partner interdependence analysis. Psychotherapy, 53(4), 413-423. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pst0000047

Lambert, M. J., & Finch, A. E. (1999). The Outcome Questionnaire. In M. E. Maruish (Ed.), The use of psychological testing for treatment planning and outcomes assessment (2nd ed.) (pp. 831-869). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

MacKenzie, K. R. (1983). The clinical application of a group climate measure. In R. R. Dies & K. R. MacKenzie (Eds.), Advances in group psychotherapy: Integrating research and practice (pp. 159–170). Madison, CT: International Universities Press.

Norton, C. L., Tucker, A., Russell, K. C., Bettmann, J. E., Gass, M. A., Gillis, H. L., & Behrens, E. (2014). Adventure therapy with youth. Journal of Experiential Education37(1), 46-59.

Russell, Keith C. (2001). What is wilderness therapy? Journal of Experiential Education, 24(2) 70-79.

Russell, K. C., Gillis, H. L., & Heppner, W. (2016). An examination of mindfulness-based experiences through adventure in substance use disorder treatment for young adult males: A pilot study. Mindfulness, 7(2), 320-328.

Russell, K. C., & Hendee, J. C. (2000). Outdoor behavioral healthcare: Definitions, common practice, expected outcomes, and a nationwide survey of programs. Idaho Forest, Wildlife, and Range Experiment Station.

White, W. (2015). Stories from the field: A history of wilderness therapy.  Wilderness Publishers.

*This article was first published in The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy February 26, 2017.  Gillis, H. L., & Russell, K. C. (2017, February). Explaining therapeutic change in residential wilderness therapy groups. [Web article]. Retrieved from: http://www.societyforpsychotherapy.org/explaining-therapeutic-change-in-residential-wilderness-therapy-groups