Author(s): Stauffer MH
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Group psychotherapy for children with chronic medical illness can be a powerful tool in facilitating their social and emotional adjustment to their condition. In this article, the author addresses the theoretical issues in developing and managing such a group, drawing on his experience with a long-term psychotherapy group of four children of varying ages and medical conditions. Themes arising from this group included universality of experience, understanding the disabilities of others, sharing, relationships with parents, and grief and loss. In addition to addressing developmental tasks of individual group members, the author presents therapist-related issues (e.g., transference, countertransference, the cotherapy relationship, and the therapist-parent relationship). The author concludes that participation in an ongoing psychotherapy group can provide medically ill children with considerable opportunity for growth, understanding, meaning, and adaptation.
This article was published in Bull Menninger Clin
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy