This study was designed to explore differences in group climate development between 2 brief group therapies, cognitive- behavioral group therapy (CBGT) and group psychotherapy (GPT), using multilevel growth curve analysis. Participants were 45 university students with a primary diagnosis of social anxiety disorder (SAD), randomly assigned to either of the 2 treatment conditions. Each group consisted of 8 weekly 2-hr sessions and members completed the Group Climate Questionnaire after each session. Similar patterns were found in both treatment conditions; engagement increased throughout the sessions, avoidance decreased, and conflict was overall low. The results support the hypothesis that brief group therapies (consisting of less than 10 sessions) will stay in the engagement phase of MacKenzie's 4-stage developmental model. There was less conflict in the CBGT groups compared with GPT, reflecting the more dynamic and interactive nature of the latter treatment. Conflict was lower than reported in previous studies, which may be attributable to the SAD diagnosis of group members. Future directions involve comparing group climate development between treatments of varying duration, between different treatment orientations and with members diagnosed with different disorders.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.
- Cognitive-behavioral group therapy
- Group climate
- Group development
- Group psychotherapy
- Social anxiety disorder