Tracking change in group interventions: a further adaptation of the innovative moments coding system for groups

Submitted: June 20, 2022
Accepted: November 17, 2022
Published: December 29, 2022
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In group psychotherapy research, there are few reliable measures for tracking members’ change. This study proposes a further adaptation of the Innovative Moment Coding System for Groups (IMCS-G), a reliable method previously developed in one format of group intervention for detecting innovative moments (IMs). IMs are exceptions to the clients’ problematic narratives, organized in different levels of complexity in terms of meaning elaboration (Level 1, 2, and 3). IMCS-G consists of 7 categories (Self-Directed, Other-Directed, Explicit Mirroring, Prompting change, Reinforcing change, Collective, Voice of Group) organized in two macro-categories: Individual (e.g., change was narrated by a single participant) and Group IMs (e.g., change was co-constructed by more than one participant). Two reliable coders applied the IMCS-G to analyse the transcripts of nine sessions of a counselling group addressed to underachieving university students (N=10) and eight sessions of a brief group psychotherapy targeted to substance abusers (N=8). Agreement and reliability for IMCS-G categories and their Levels were calculated. Consistently with previous studies, a strong agreement and reliability for IMCS-G categories and Levels were found in both group interventions. Furthermore, despite some differences in the frequency of IMCS-G categories and Levels, in both interventions, there was a higher frequency of Self-Directed IMs, a lower frequency of the Explicit Mirroring IMs, and a higher frequency of Level 3 Group IMs in comparision with Level 3 Individual IMs. This study confirmed the reliability of IMCS-G in different group interventions, but it also suggested rooms of improvement for some IMCS-G categories.

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How to Cite

Esposito, G., Cutolo, A. S., Passeggia, R., Formentin, S. ., & Gonçalves, M. M. (2022). Tracking change in group interventions: a further adaptation of the innovative moments coding system for groups. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 25(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2022.648