15 Group Psychotherapies

Clinical Psychology


  1. William E. Piper PhD,
  2. Carlos A. Sierra Hernandez BA

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop208015

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Piper, W. E. and Sierra Hernandez, C. A. 2012. Group Psychotherapies. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 8:II:15.

Author Information

  1. The University of British Columbia, Department of Psychiatry, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


This chapter focuses on the theory and application of group psychotherapies within the field of psychology. A brief review of the history of group psychotherapies is presented. The theory behind group psychotherapy is then added through a discussion of the constructs and principles of four main models of group therapy: psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodrama. Subsequently, the application of group psychotherapies within the field of psychology is discussed through the examination of three distinct treatment programs: outpatient care, partial hospitalization, and inpatient hospitalization. A review of the effectiveness of these three programs is also offered. In addition, the structural features of therapy groups are reviewed in order to provide the reader with an understanding of the advantages and barriers behind participating in, leading, and evaluating therapy groups. Future consideration of the use and evaluation of group psychotherapies are also proposed.


  • group psychotherapies;
  • models of group therapy;
  • outpatient care;
  • partial hospitalization;
  • inpatient hospitalization