The use of the self in group leadership: a relational perspective

Int J Group Psychother. 2000 Apr;50(2):181-98. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2000.11490997.


This article, written from a relational perspective, describes a shift that is taking place in the thinking of many psychodynamically oriented psychotherapists regarding the practice of therapy and the implications it has for group therapists. The shift, from one-person to two-person and multi-person theory, has particular importance for group leaders since it recommends making the subjective involvement of the therapist in the interactional field of the group much more a part of the treatment process. Theory and research on the use of countertransference, non-interpretive interventions, humor, and spontaneity by the leader are reviewed and vignettes are presented to illustrate the application of these ideas. Guidelines regarding the application of such ideas in group therapy are also discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Countertransference
  • Ego*
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods*
  • Wit and Humor as Topic