Sample Psychology Paper on Psychotherapy Approach

Psychotherapy Approach

Most individuals regularly experience stress, anger, and loss during certain times in their lives. Grief can be termed as a loss of anything while bereavement is specifically a loss of a loved one, a close friend, relative, or a family member. People have different levels of handling these situations; individuals may be angry and stressed out due to the loss. Lack of enough techniques to manage stress can lead to severe mental torture and sometimes even suicide. Therefore, an individual should know the method that can best control his/her loss. Different approaches, therefore, are applied by therapists to counsel people and help them regain their selves. This essay will consequently contemplate group approach as one of the criteria used by the therapists to assist different individuals in recovering from their disposition.

Group Approach


The group approach was founded by three individuals, Joseph H. Pratt, Trigant Burrow, and Paul Schilder, who worked at the East Coast in the mid-20th century. Jacob Moreno, in 1932, presented his work to the American Psychiatric Association concerning group therapy. The ancient form of group therapy was the T-group, whereby individuals around 9 to 15 were grouped and learned about themselves through studying each other’s behaviors, likes, and weaknesses. Carl Rodgers and Kurt Lewin then later in the 1940s applied the group therapy as a means of understanding the expression of humans.

Individuals suffering from TB were treated using this approach in the 1900s and later during World War II. It also became applicable in treating those with emotional malfunctions. Yalom identified some characteristics of group therapy, including giving unselfishly, hope installation, divulge of information, unanimously, and learning interpersonally (Ghamarikivi, 2015). Modern therapists who use group therapy apply these principles to make it useful.

Implementation of the Therapy

Group therapy, as the name suggests, contains more than one individual. In group therapy, groups of between six and twelve individuals usually gather in a circular arrangement with one or two therapists. The groups contain individuals with a similar emotional problem; for instance, those who have lost an individual in their life. Individuals, therefore, will have time to share their experiences with the therapist and listen to other experiences from other people with similar problems (Foulkes, 2018).

Furthermore; these individuals receive advice from other group members and the therapist who guides the discussion. Group therapy can be carried out at any time of the day. Therapists performing group therapy are, therefore, expected to have enough information from their members to identify the adequate time that works for all of them.

During the sessions, which can last up to months, the therapist draws instances from the diversity of different approaches, for example, the humanistic, cognitive, and psychoanalytic approaches. Apart from the talks, group therapy can also involve lectures relating to educational matters, negotiations from other supporting groups that had experienced similar struggles before, use of expressive counseling techniques such as music, drama, art, and poetry, use of integrative techniques such as yoga, and using cultural activities for counseling.

An individual is expected to find trust in a group before joining. Among the conditions treated using group therapy include problems resulting from relationships such as breakups, communicating deficits, individuals with anxiety, depression, loss of loved ones, and individuals with low self-esteem (Worden, 2018). According to the principles of group therapy, each set of people must be suffering from a similar case to enhance the “your problem is general” principle.



There has been increased use of group therapy currently because it can accommodate all ages. Before one involves in group therapy, lots of negative questions run through his/her mind, for instance, who would want to share his/her personal experiences in a group, especially with strangers. However, research has shown that it is one of the most effective approaches toward healing grief. Individuals, on the other hand, might be shocked by how effective the group approach works. The outcomes are generally positive.

An individual with grief would realize after attending a group therapy that he/she is not the only one with the problem. Besides, they learn that their requirements are general and anybody faces what they face. Group therapy with members who have lost someone will understand that demise is something healthy, and it is not selective. An individual gets to acquire alternatives to the situation. Since it involves sharing one’s emotions, they also get to learn and hear various options from either the therapist or the other group members who had earlier undergone the same problem. Due to this, members learn by listening to other different views of others. Besides, it also enables one to acquire new perspectives to ideas. One, for instance, might feel it is the end of life by losing a close member of the family, but the group members will encourage him/her by sharing how growth must continue and the past ignored. People are known to have a similar reaction to the majority.

Listening to how different individuals overcame their stress and anger makes the affected member want to push themselves to cope up. Group therapies do not only ease emotional liability for an individual but also assists one to be open and have a good relationship with individuals during moments of grief. The group would equip individuals with communication ways they can apply later when they fall under affliction.  Another outcome of the group therapy approach is that it enables individuals to understand themselves better (Chang, 2016). During moments of grief, people usually block the sense of who they are because of losing their loved ones. The group members thus act as a mirror whereby individuals can be able to see themselves clearly by listening to comments others make concerning their cases.


Somatic Therapy

This type of therapy involves using an individual’s mind, body, emotions, and spirit to assist in the healing of grief. Therapists applying this type of grief therapy believe that emotional feelings can determine the physical behavior of an individual (Johnson, 2019). The somatic approach can be used instead of traditional counseling techniques.


Among the most significant contributors of sematic therapy approach is Wilhelm Reich, who was a great psychoanalyst from Austria. Another psychotherapist, Pierre Janet from French, is also believed to have contributed to the establishment of somatic theory during the 19th century. Besides, Sigmund Freud, another scholar, also showed concerns on how the body functioning psychological health matters. Reich, an ex-student of   Freud, developed a notion known as “body armor” whereby he believed that physical pressure was required to help an individual relieve tension, the grief of anger. His work was, but despite all the critics, Reich highlighted the basics of somatic therapy, thereby leaving other psychotherapists to advance the idea. Reich used his intention to treat several people, for instance, John Pierrakos, Charles Kelley and Alexander Lowen (Eddy, 2009). This approach has then advanced significantly since the 1900s, and most therapists have realized the effectiveness of the somatic approach, thereby making progress on how to make it more efficient.



The somatic approach can be applied using different methods, including touch movement, breathe, and sound. Therapists use this approach because they believe that some individuals are unable to express their emotions through traditional counseling such as the talk sessions. By paying attention to their body movements, the therapists can assist individuals with grief. Methods used in this approach include dance, awareness of the sensation, physical training, massage, and voicing work (Ahmed, 2017). Individuals undergoing this therapy are always advised to recall their emotional feeling, such as grief during the session; the activities can help relieve emotional distress.

Therapy sessions assist individuals with various emotional distresses, for instance, stress, grief, or anger. Therapists, therefore, are required to perform a close intervention to understand fully the best way to help an individual undergoing emotional distress. During moments of grief, different people have dissimilar reactions; those with weak handling mechanisms should visit therapists for consolation. The group therapy approach is one way therapists use to help heal individuals with grief because of the effective positive results it has on the patients. The procedure consists of between six and twelve members with either one or two therapists who guide the session. Alternatively, the somatic approach can be used instead of traditional counseling techniques. Regular counseling involves talks, whereas somatic apply the use of movements and other activities such as dance, bike riding, and touch to help heal grief. Therapists should identify effective means of dealing with pain because some individuals cannot express their emotions by talking.





Ahmed, R., Khan, N. A., Waseem, M., & Khan, Z. J. (2017). Holistic Approach in the Management of Depression: A Review.

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Eddy, M. (2009). A brief history of somatic practices and dance: Historical development of the field of somatic education and its relationship to dance. Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices1(1), 5-27.

Foulkes, S. H. (2018). Principles and practice of group therapy. In Foundations of Group Analysis for the Twenty-First Century (pp. 35-40). Routledge.

Ghamarikivi, H., & Zahedbablan, A. (2015). Effectiveness of group cognitive-behavioral Therapy on Death Anxiety among the Bereavement Elderly‌‌Man. Iranian Journal of Geriatric Nursing1(4), 60-69.

Johnson, R. (2019). Body as Home: A critical Somatic Approach to working with Homeless Youth. Holistic Healing: Theories, Practices, and Social Change, 348.

Worden, J. W. (2018). Grief counseling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner. Springer Publishing Company.