Group Cohesion

8510 WordsFeb 25, 201335 Pages
ARTICLE IN PRESS Behaviour Research and Therapy 45 (2007) 687–698 Group cohesion in cognitive-behavioral group therapy for social phobia Marlene Taube-Schiffa, Michael K. Suvakb, Martin M. Antonyc,d,e,Ã, Peter J. Bielinge,f, Randi E. McCabed,e a Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care Department, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada b Department of Psychology, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA c Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2K3 d Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton, ON, Canada e Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University f Mood Disorders Program, St.…show more content…
We decided to investigate how these group processes, particularly group cohesion, may be related to treatment outcome in cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) groups for social phobia. Within the group therapy literature, one putative mechanism of change is that of group cohesion (Yalom, 1995). However, the construct of group cohesion has defied ready operational definition, especially with more technique-driven interventions like CBT. For example, a broad definition proposed to explain group cohesion is ‘‘the resultant of all forces acting on all the members to remain in the group’’ (Cartwright & Zander, 1962, p. 74) or, in simpler terms, how attractive a group is for the members who are in it (Frank, 1957). Yalom (1995) conceptualizes group cohesion as the ‘‘we-ness’’ that is felt amongst the group members. Groups with higher levels of cohesion are presumed to have a higher rate of attendance, participation, and mutual support, and to be likely to defend group standards much more. Further, Yalom (1995) believes that group cohesion is necessary for other group therapeutic factors to operate. Researchers studying this construct have also included concepts such as a sense of bonding, a sense of working towards mutual goals, mutual acceptance, support, identification, and affiliation with the group (e.g., Marziali, Munroe-Blum, & McCleary, 1997). Clearly then, cohesion is purported to be a critical ingredient for change and therefore would be
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