New horizons in group psychotherapy research and practice from third wave positive psychology: a practice-friendly review

Submitted: June 15, 2022
Accepted: September 19, 2022
Published: November 4, 2022
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Group psychotherapy has been shown to be equivalent to individual therapy for many disorders, including anxiety, depression, grief, eating disorders, and schizophrenia (Burlingame & Strauss, 2021). In addition to effectiveness in reducing symptoms, group offers members a sense of belonging, purpose, hope, altruism, and meaning throughout treatment (Yalom & Leszcz, 2020). These additional outcomes are especially important considering the COVID-19 pandemic and national/international conflicts, given the trauma, disruptions, and losses people have experienced. Applying recent developments in positive psychology to group therapy can enhance treatment. A practice-friendly review examined recent advances in the positive psychology literature, demonstrating how group therapy offers members unique growth opportunities in addition to reducing symptoms. Key findings from studies applying positive psychological constructs to group therapy outcomes are synthesized. Our review sheds light on the relevance of third wave positive psychology to enrich group therapy (Lomas et al., 2021). Specifically, group therapy can facilitate the development of vitalizing psychological virtues, and these can be used to assess treatment outcome: humanity, wisdom, transcendence, courage, temperance, and justice. Interrelatedly, we present support for including attachment theory and mentalization within a positive psychological group framework. Implications are explored for group therapy research, clinical work, and training.

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How to Cite

Marmarosh, C. L., Sandage, S., Wade, N., Captari, L. E., & Crabtree, S. (2022). New horizons in group psychotherapy research and practice from third wave positive psychology: a practice-friendly review. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 25(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2022.643

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