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Interpersonal Process-Oriented Group Psychotherapy with Offender Populations

NCJ Number
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 46 Issue: 4 Dated: August 2002 Pages: 466-482
Robert D. Morgan; Carrie L. Winterowd
Date Published
August 2002
17 pages
Focusing on the special difficulties of using group psychotherapy in offender populations, this article discusses the application of interpersonal process-oriented psychotherapeutic group work.
Arguing that conducting group psychotherapy presents problems within offender populations, this article explores the special considerations required to conduct group psychotherapy for inmates. Following a brief discussion of the benefits in treating offender populations with psychotherapy, the authors describe various conditions of offender populations that make therapeutic group psychotherapy beneficial to this population. Therapeutic factors present in group psychotherapy such as instilling hope, developing group universality, imparting information, nurturing altruism, creating surrogate families, developing socialization techniques, suggesting proper behaviors, teaching interpersonal relationships, and fostering group cohesiveness, catharsis, and the search for meaning in life all speak directly to the needs of inmate populations. In conjunction with these therapeutic factors, establishing a positive and supportive therapeutic culture and helping inmates to process what occurs within group therapy are key to making group psychotherapy work for offender populations. Concluding that maintaining the therapy group and handling difficult clients are important to the success of group work, the authors argue that group psychotherapy results in numerous positive treatment gains for offender populations. References


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