We are pleased to announce that the 2-year impact factor for the Division 49 journal Group Dynamics has risen to 1.64 for the year 2017. This represents a significant increase from the previous year and puts Group Dynamics within the top 50% of journals in its category. The impact factor represents the number of times journal articles are cited by other scholars in a given year relative to the number of articles published. Congratulations to the editor, David Marcus and his team of associate editors for this achievement.
Group Dynamics issues an open call for authors to submit an Evidence-Based Case Study for possible publication. Developing such a series of Evidence-Based Case Studies will be extremely useful in advancing the evidence for group psychology and group psychotherapy. Group practice for this call is defined broadly to include therapy groups, teams, organizations, and other group contexts.
The goal of these Evidenced-Based Case Studies is to integrate verbatim case material from the group 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.
Such an investigation will provide much needed information to bridge the gap between research and practice. Evidence-based case studies will also provide an important model of how to integrate basic research into applied work in therapy, team, and organizational contexts. This will open an avenue for publication to those in full time private practice, those who work primarily as consultants, or organizations and teams that integrate research measures into their applied work. Finally, this approach to studying group phenomena may provide a list of systematic case studies from various forms of treatment and interventions that meet the American Psychological Association’s criteria for Evidence-Based Practice (APA, 2006) as well as the Clinical Utility dimension in the Criteria for Evaluating Treatment Guidelines (APA, 2002).
Authors who are interested in preparing an Evidence-Based Case Study must follow these guidelines:
- The report must include the assessment (from the individual group member or independent rater perspective at the group level, but not only the therapist/leader) of at least two standardized empirical outcome measures related to team, organization, or group objective. Optimally, such a report would include several outcome measures assessing a wide array of functioning such as: global functioning, team or organizational objectives, target symptoms, subjective well-being, interpersonal functioning, social/occupational functioning, and measures of personality,
- The report must also include at least one empirical process measure (e.g., therapeutic alliance, session depth, emotional experiencing, team functioning, organizational cohesion) evaluated on at least three separate occasions.
- At minimum, specific outcome data should be presented using standardized mean difference (i.e. effect size) and clinical significance methodology (i.e. unchanged, reliable change, movement into functional distribution, clinically significant change, and deterioration [see Jacobson et al. 1999]). Group Dynamics encourages submission of both successful and unsuccessful cases. In addition, it might be instructive to compare and contrast the technical interventions that occurred during a positive change case with that of an unchanged or deteriorated case from the same approach.
The Evidence-Based Case Study section is not necessarily for advanced statistical time series analyses of process or outcome data, although such articles would be welcomed. Simple analyses of standardized outcome measures by way of clinical significance and effect size methods are sufficient.
- Verbatim vignettes with several group participant and therapist/leader turns highlighting key interventions, processes, and mechanisms of change must be provided. Discussion of any therapeutic or group-level interventions should not be presented only from a global or abstract perspective.
- Manuscripts must be within the journal word limit as indicated on the journal web site.
- Appropriate informed consent must be obtained from participants, and the study must be approved by an internal review board. The author must indicate that vignettes were sufficiently de-identified to protect confidentiality and privacy.
The following provide examples of what an Evidence-Based Case Study article might look like:
Granasen, M. & Andersson, D. (2016). Measuring team effectiveness in cyber-defense exercises: A cross-disciplinary case study, Cognition, Technology & Work, 18, 121–143.
This study reported on simulated exercises to assess team functioning and effectiveness in repelling cyber attacks. Team performance (outcome), team cognition (processes within teams) were assessed and reported. The authors provided recommendations to enhance team performance. However, missing from this case study were vignettes to illustrate the concepts.
Maxwell, K., Callahan, J. L., Holtz, P., Janis, B. M., Gerber, M. M., & Connor, D. R. (2016). Comparative study of group treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychotherapy, 53, 433-445.
The authors assessed a new potential group treatment for PTSD compared to cognitive processing therapy (CPT) as a pre-cursor to a randomized controlled trial. Two groups from each treatment type were compared. The authors measured outcomes but did not provide process measures. Several clinical vignettes illustrate the treatments.
Tasca, G. A., Foot, M., Leite, C., Maxwell, H., Balfour, L., & Bissada, H. (2011). Interpersonal processes in psychodynamic-interpersonal and cognitive behavioral group therapy: A systematic case study of two groups. Psychotherapy, 48, 260-273.
Outcomes were measured outcomes pre- and post-treatment (effect sizes and reliable change indices) comparing two group therapists who were highly adherent to their specific treatment approach. The authors measured interpersonal processes at three time points from observer ratings of video recordings. Outcomes were measured using standardized scales. Clinical vignettes illustrated the differing interpersonal styles between the two group therapists.
Authors who have conducted an effectiveness or efficacy trial on a particular type of intervention in which they collected standardized process and outcome measures in addition to the use of audio/videotape of sessions should consider submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study. Likewise, a clinician in private practice, or a team or organizational consultant who would like to add these elements at the start of a new or existing group or team should also consider submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study.
Group Dynamics will begin accepting submissions for Evidence-Based Case Studies starting January 2019. Anyone who may have an interest in submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study is encouraged to contact the editor.
American Psychological Association, (2002). Criteria for evaluating treatment guidelines. American Psychologist, 57, 1052–1059.
American Psychological Association, (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist, 61, 271–285.
Jacobson, N., Roberts, L., Berns, S., & McGlinchey, J. (1999). Methods for defining and determining the clinical significance of treatment effects: Description, application, and alternatives. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 300–307.
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
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.
Call for Nominations for Journal Editor of Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice
The Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy (Division 49) of the American Psychological Association has opened nominations for the Editorship of the Division’s journal, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice for the term of January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023.
Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice (GDN) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal that publishes original empirical articles, theoretical analyses, literature reviews, and brief reports dealing with basic and applied topics in the field of group research and application. The editors construe the phrase group dynamics in the broadest sense—the scientific study of all aspects of groups—and publish work by investigators in such fields as psychology, psychiatry, sociology, education, communication, and business.
The journal publishes articles examining groups in a range of contexts, including ad hoc groups in experimental settings, therapy groups, naturally forming friendship groups and cliques, organizational units, self-help groups, and learning groups. Theoretically driven empirical studies of hypotheses that have implications for understanding and improving groups in organizational, educational, and therapeutic settings are particularly encouraged.
Candidates should be available to start receiving manuscripts as the Incoming Editor on January 1, 2018 to prepare for issues published in 2019. David K. Marcus, Ph.D. is the incumbent editor, whose term ends on December 31, 2018.
Please note that Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy encourages participation by members of underrepresented groups in the publication process and would particularly welcome such nominees. Self-nominations are also encouraged.
Joseph R. Miles, Ph.D., will chair the search. To nominate a candidate (or yourself), please send the candidate’s name and contact information to Joseph Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will follow up with all nominees to assess interest and request additional materials.
Deadline for accepting nominations is July 1, 2017, when reviews will begin.
New Award: Teaching of Group Dynamics Award
This award is granted to a teaching professional (post-graduate) who has demonstrated excellence in the area of the teaching of the psychology of group or group psychotherapy at the undergraduate or graduate level. We are looking for individuals who have developed and implemented a particularly innovative and/or effective teaching approach related to the teaching of group dynamics. All who are members of Division 49 (or whose application for membership is currently pending) are eligible. Nominations may come from self or others. The award will be presented at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association. A $1,000.00 cash award and plaque will be presented to the award winner. The awardee will also have a chance to present her or his work related to teaching group dynamics to a national audience. Applicants are encouraged to submit the following materials on order to be considered for this award:
- Written description (no more than 2 pages) of a specific exercise, assignment, or teaching strategy that highlights your qualifications for this award
- Evidence of teaching effectiveness (e.g. informal and/or formal teaching evaluations; other data gathered from students; peer evaluations, etc.) (maximum 5 pages)
- Copy of current CV
- A letter from a psychologist (or other qualified colleague) who can speak to the qualifications of the nominee in light of the award criteria
- Cover sheet that includes:
- Nominee’s name, address, telephone number and email address.
- Name and type of teaching institution (e.g., doctoral program, master’s program, 4-year college) and discipline (e.g. counseling psychology, social psychology, clinical psychology, etc.)
- Nominator’s name, address, telephone number and email address.
- Name and address of who should be informed if the nominee wins the Group Dynamics Teaching Award (e.g., department head, supervisor, etc.)
- All materials should be submitted via a zipped/compressed folder in one email with the following subject line: [Candidate’s First and Last Name] – Application for Group Dynamics Teaching Award.
All submissions must be received by Feb. 15, 2016 to be considered. Send to: Dr. Robert Gleave at Robert_Gleave@byu.edu.
Group Dynamics, Theory, Research, and Practice publishes state of the art research on group psychology and group psychotherapy. The study of people nested in small groups represents unique challenges to the researcher. Group members interact with each other, they share common experiences within their group that may be different across groups, and each group may be affected by different compositions and histories. These factors make groups and group research interesting, but they also complicate the analyses of grouped data. Group Dynamics invites authors to submit papers that address salient issues related to the design and analyses of grouped data. The focus will be on conceptual issues that are addressed by the method, and on its practical applications. As such, each paper should be structured to include the following: (1) a conceptual introduction of the issues being addressed and their importance to group research, (2) a concrete running example of real or simulated data and their analyses to make the concepts and data analytic approach come to life, (3) instructions or suggestions on which relevant findings to report and how (e.g., parameters, variance components, model fit statistics, effect sizes, etc.), (4) practical suggestions on how and under what circumstances to apply the method, (5) common pitfalls or problems in applying the method and/or interpreting findings, (6) a short annotated bibliography of software, web sites, and key articles or chapters, and (7) if appropriate, online supplementary material with syntax, computer codes, or macros. Equations or figures should be fully described and all parameters should be clearly and concretely defined using the running example. Emphasis should be place on interpreting the statistical findings in the context of the running example (data in the running example does not need to be new as it is primarily being used as illustration). The manuscript should be: aimed at the level of a new researcher or a graduate student who will use the paper to guide them in their own data analyses; or aimed at readers who may use the paper to help them understand and evaluate group research. Authors might assume for example that the reader has only basic knowledge of statistical concepts (i.e., regression equations) and of group psychology and psychotherapy. Papers should be no more than 30 pages in length, not including online supplementary material. All submissions will be peer reviewed. This special issue of Group Dynamics on statistical methods will bring together in one volume papers that will serve as a reference for authors, reviewers, and students who wish to conduct and evaluate state of the art group psychology and group psychotherapy research.
Deadline for submissions is September 15, 2015. Submissions can be made through the journal submission portal on the American Psychological Association web site. Authors should indicate in the cover letter that the manuscript is intended for the special issue on statistical methods in group psychology and group psychotherapy. Authors are encouraged to contact Giorgio A. Tasca (email@example.com) to discuss the suitability of a potential topic for submission.
Evidence-Based Case Study
Parallel in purpose to the Practice Review articles, I would like to issue an open invitation for authors to submit an Evidence-Based Case Study for possible publication in Psychotherapy. I believe developing such a series of Evidence-Based Case Studies will be extremely useful in several ways. First, such investigation will provide much needed information to bridge the gap between research and practice. Second, such studies will provide important templates of how to integrate basic research into applied work at the individual case level. In addition, I hope to open an avenue for publication to those in full time private practice who are interested in integrating research measures into their clinical work. Finally, I wish to provide a readily identifiable aggregate of systematic case studies from various forms of treatment that meet the American Psychological Association’s criteria for Evidence-Based Practice (APA, 2006) as well as the Clinical Utility dimension in the Criteria for Evaluating Treatment Guidelines (APA, 2002).
The goal of these Evidenced-Based Case Studies will be to integrate verbatim clinical case material with standardized measures of process and outcome evaluated at different times across treatment. That is, authors should describe clinical vignettes highlighting key interventions and mechanisms of change regarding their specific approach to treatment in the context of empirical scales. With this goal in mind I offer the following guidelines for those who are interested in preparing an Evidence-Based Case Study:
- At minimum the report should include the assessment (from patient or independent rater perspective, not therapist) of at least two standardized outcome measures, global functioning and target symptom (i.e. depression, anxiety, etc), as well as one process measure (i.e. therapeutic alliance, session depth, emotional experiencing, etc) evaluated on at least three separate occasions. Optimally, such a report would include several outcome measures assessing a wide array of functioning such as global functioning, target symptoms (i.e. depression, anxiety, etc), subjective well-being, interpersonal functioning, social/occupational functioning and measures of personality, as well as relevant process measures evaluated at multiple times across treatment.
- At minimum specific outcome data should be presented using standardized mean difference (i.e. effect size) and clinical significance methodology (i.e. unchanged, reliable change, movement into functional distribution, clinically significant change, and deterioration; see Jacobson et al., 1999). Submission of both successful and unsuccessful treatment cases are encouraged. In addition, it might be quite instructive to compare and contrast the technical interventions that occurred during a positive change case with that of a clinically unchanged or deteriorated case from the same approach to treatment.
- Verbatim clinical vignettes with several patient and therapist turns highlighting key interventions and mechanisms of change regarding the specific approach to treatment should be provided. Discussion of therapeutic interventions should not be presented from a global or abstract perspective.
- Appropriate informed consent must be obtained. It is suggested that interested authors review several Evidence-Based Case Studies that have been published since 2011 as templates for their work (Escudero, Boogmans, Loots, & Friedlander, 2012; Grasso, Joselow, Marquez & Webb, 2011; Satir et al., 2011; Tasca et al., 2011). In addition, Hill and colleagues (2008) as well as Mayotte-Blum and colleagues (2012) provide a good template of this Evidence-Based Case Study format. Finally, Strupp and colleagues (1992) provide extensive verbatim clinical vignettes from a failed treatment that are quite instructive regarding possible indicators of treatment termination, with initial scores on several assessment measures. Simple analyses of standardized outcome measures by way of clinical significance and effect size methods are sufficient, all of which can be readily tabulated by hand or with a calculator. Any authors who have conducted an effectiveness or efficacy trial on a particular type of treatment that have collected standardized process and outcome measures across treatment in addition to the use of audio/videotape of sessions should consider submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study. Likewise, any clinician in private practice who would like to add these elements at the initiation of a new case should also consider submitting to this special series. Anyone who may have an interest in submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study is invited to contact me if they have any questions about this process at: Psychotherapy@adelphi.edu.
American Psychological Assciation, (2002). Criteria for evaluating treatment guidelines. American Psychologist, 57, 1052–1059.
American Psychological Assciation, (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist, 61, 271–285.
Escudero, V., Boogmans, E., Loots, G., & Friedlander, M. (2012). Alliance Rupture and Repair in Conjoint Family Therapy: An Exploratory Study. Psychotherapy, 49, 26–37.
Grasso, D., Joselow, B., Marquez, Y., & Webb, C. (2011). Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy of a Child with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Psychotherapy, 48, 188–197.
Hill, C., Sim, W., Spangler, P., Stahl, J., Sullivan, C., & Teyber, E. (2008). Therapist immediacy in brief psychotherapy: Case study II. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 298–315.
Jacobson, N., Roberts, L., Berns, S., & McGlinchey, J. (1999). Methods for defining and determining the clinical significance of treatment effects: Description, application, and alternatives. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 300–307.
Mayotte-Blum, J., Slavin-Mulford, J., Lehmann, M., Pesale, F., Becker-Matero, N., & Hilsenroth, M. (2012). Therapeutic Immediacy Across Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: An Evidence-Based Case Study. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 27–40.
Satir, D., Goodman, D., Shingleton, R., Porcerelli, J., Gorman, B., Pratt, E., Barlow, D., & Thompson-Brenner, H. (2011). Alliance-Focused Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa: Integrative Relational and Behavioral Change Treatments in a Single-Case Experimental Design. Psychotherapy, 48, 401–420.
Strupp, Schacht, Henry, & Binder (1992). Jack M.: A case of premature termination. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 29, 191–205.
Tasca, G., Foot, M., Leite, C., Maxwell, H., Balfour, L., & Bissada, H. (2011). Interpersonal Process in Psychodynamic-Interpersonal and Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy: A Systematic Case Study of Two Groups. Psychotherapy, 48, 260–273.
While not an exhaustive list the following may help authors get a better idea of what types of group therapy papers would be most welcome at Group Dynamics (and which papers might not be appropriate).
1. Treatment outcome studies
Studies that compare two (or more) different treatment approaches, compare a treatment to a waitlist or placebo control, or compare group to individual therapy would all be welcome at Group Dynamics. Additive or dismantling studies (adding or removing a treatment component in some groups) would also be great. Of course, one challenge is that outcome studies should include multiple groups not just a single group in the treatment condition. If the treatment is being compared to a control group, there should be random assignment and the control should be reasonable (e.g., I recently desk rejected a paper where the treatment group was compared to a control of people who refused treatment).
Admittedly, most of the group treatment outcome studies that are done well are being published in higher impact journals, so we have to be somewhat flexible about design issues. For example, a very well done pre-post design study might be considered if there is a compelling rationale for the treatment being examined, the condition being treated is chronic if untreated, multiple groups were included in the analyses etc. A paper describing an innovative and theoretically well-grounded new group treatment with some supporting pilot data might also be considered.
2. Predictors of treatment outcome (including “process” studies)
Studies examining what characteristics of clients, therapists, or groups predict outcome are probably more feasible than rigorous outcome studies. These predictor variables could be at either the individual or group level (or both). Studies that look at treatment by individual characteristics interactions (i.e., aptitude by treatment interactions) would be especially welcome (e.g., studies that examine personality traits that predict who benefits more from group therapy versus individual therapy).
3. Assessment/Psychometric papers
Papers that present new measurement instruments for studying groups or group members (with some preliminary psychometric data) or psychometric studies of existing group measures would be very welcome.
4. Meta-analyses or systematic reviews
While we are unlikely to publish purely theoretical papers, papers that synthesize an existing empirical literature (either quantitatively using meta-analysis, or qualitatively using a traditional literature review) and help clarify important questions in group therapy would be great.
5. Methods/statistics papers
One the challenges facing group therapy researchers is that design and analysis issues are often much more complicated than when studying individual therapy. Papers that present new ways of addressing these challenges or more instructional/how-to papers that help walk researchers through established methods for setting up these studies and doing these analyses would be welcome.
6. Evidence-Based Case Studies
These case studies would require quality data to support the case description, but could be a good way to bridge research and practice.
David Marcus, Ph.D.
Editor for Group Dynamics