A number of approaches have been developed by various theorists and psychologists in order to help at managing psychological disorders. Cognitive behavior group therapy and Yalom’s therapy model are considered to be one of the most reliable approaches to evaluate problems within dysfunctional emotions and behaviors.

In this paper, these two models will be analyzed and evaluated in terms of their similarities and differences: the essence of Yalom’s model and cognitive behavior group therapy model, their objectives and structures, and group membership.


Cognitive behavior group therapy, also known as CBGT, is an approach that is used during the group therapy in order to treat different variants of social phobia. CBGT is one of those models, which can be used in treatment under certain inpatient settings (Christner et al., 2007, p. 509). Yalom’s therapeutic model assumes that interpersonal interaction is essential for the success of group therapy. Yalom himself suggested that change through group therapy is a complicated process that is facilitated by interplay of human experiences, which he considered as the therapeutic factors.

The theory of cognitive behavior group therapy is based on the ability to conceptualize information for each member of the group and the group as one whole. It is necessary to identity the problem that causes psychological problems and working on the problem so as find workable solutions based on the problems. This model utilizes the Socrates’ way of knowledge unlike the Yalom’s model because the therapists have a desire to know much about the client using the technique of questioning. It is also based on educational model of doing things with the assumptions that all behaviors and attitudes adopted by individuals are all acquired through learning process (Montgomery, 2002, p. 34). In cognitive behavior group therapy, the goals of the entire process are set in accordance to the existing problems. It is then that thinking behaviors that are at the center of the behavior problem are modified. On the other hand, Yalom based his practice on the importance of therapeutic factors in finding solutions to psychological problems.

Some of the factors include instilling hope in the patients in order to help them manage their own problems. Therefore. in terms of theory, the two models are different in their own fundamental principles that guide their functionality to the patients.

Group Membership

The two models tend to be joined by the fact that both of them place much emphasis on the importance and relevance of here and now theory in group therapy. Concerning group membership, I can note that with cognitive behavior group therapy it can be applied to a group of people only. Membership is limited to the one therapist to provide services to a number of clients. This can even be done over computer programs. In cognitive behavior group therapy, emphasis is not put much on the number of members attending the sessions with the therapist.

It works because the interaction between the therapist and the patients, and the patient and the patient actually matters in the success of the approach. To a greater extent, cognitive behavior group therapy is a collaborative process between the patients and their therapist. In other terms, if there is no cordial relationship between the two, then the approach cannot work at all (Yalom and Leszcz, 2005, 153). This is unlike the case in the Yalom’s therapy model; whereby the whole thing is a group affair whereby the larger the numbers the better the clients benefit because they need each other’s experience so as to find solutions to psychological problems affecting them. Therefore the number of clients attending the sessions in this model really matters to the success of the approach. Yaloms model does not need so much the collaboration between the client and the therapist. In terms of composition of members it is clear that Yalom’s model uses certain criteria in the selection of membership.

For instance, exclusion criteria are often used in the selection process (Yalom and Leszcz, 2005, p.153). Inclusion criteria are also adopted in the model, basing on the level of motivation between members.

This is unlike the situation in the cognitive behavior model. But overall, both models of behavior change have membership and the involved members, who attend the therapy sessions for them to find solutions to their psychological problems.

Aims and Objectives

Looking at the aims and objectives of both models, it is vital to underscore the fact that both models aim at improving the behavior of the clients through the psychological processes (Callahan, 2004, p.502). They therefore help the client to overcome psychological problems that threaten their existence in the world. Cognitive behavior group therapy model can be looked at to be targeting a patient-therapists communication and patient-patient communication as well in order to help solve psychological problems within the group and provide them with a chance to fight against their social phobia. The Yalom’s model can be considered to be focused on creating a group environment to facilitate sharing of experiences between the clients in order to learn from each others experiences and solve their own psychological problems.

Process Structure

In terms of process and structure of the models, it is important to point out that Yalom’s model is organized in the way that the groups form the basic structure of the model.

The clients with psychological problems are involved in certain group activities for their own benefits. Group participation in this model is greatly enhanced by creating the necessary cognitive structures and further clarification of misconceptions (Callahan, 2004, p.502). However, in this model, group cohesiveness is emphasized because of the benefits, which are inherent to the group members.

According to the proponent of this model, cohesiveness is a precondition for the success of the therapy, because it determines the functionality of the other therapeutic factors. Some of them are doomed not to work if this precondition is not adequately addressed. This structure is not the same as that of cognitive behavior group therapy, whereby group cohesiveness is not a precondition for the success of the therapy. In this approach, the members do not enjoy the love and warmth of the other group members.

The sense of belonging and unconditional acceptance in not found in the process of cognitive behavior group therapy because lack of this cohesiveness. In group therapy and Yalom’s model, the clients in groups are likely to reach high levels of self-awareness unlike in the other case. This is through such important techniques like feedback that mainly imparts on the life of others, who are in the same group. This cannot be the same in the cognitive behavior group therapy (Corey 2005, p.461). Furthermore, in Yalom’s model form of therapy, patients are thoroughly questioned and after the one discovers what he needs in life.

It enables one understand a reality on issues such as death, this form obesity form according to enable one to understand how freedom and responsibility go hard in hard. Yalom includes one specialist and an individual faced with a problem. One person is thoroughly questioned unlike for CBT where we can have a group of people therapy 6- 10. According to there is no fixed life for an individual. In Yalom’s form of therapy, the individual with a problem is the only one who meets with the therapist unlike for the CBT whereby we can have a group that can consist of six people or more. Another difference is that in Yalom’s model, one is asked questions and the help he gets depends on the evaluation made by the therapist (Corey, 2005, p.153).

In terms of process, it is important not to overlook the fact that, in both models, the feedback is provided and is quite essential for the personal development of each client. There is also the issue of giving out to receive in both models in the sense that in Yalom’s model one has to understand the value of giving before having the intrinsic drive to share out experiences with others and at the same time gain from others. In the cognitive behavior model it becomes inevitable for the client to be willing to give out information after a cordial relationship is established with the therapist (Corey, 2005, p. 490).

In both models, there is the imparting of information to the clients. This is normally through instructional methods, giving of advice and making suggestions to the clients. In both models, there is evidence of the therapist instilling the aspect of hope in the clients. This is very essential to keep the clients in the process of therapeutic change. Without hope in the process, most clients would fall out before they archive the desired results. In Yalom’s model, faith is itself a therapeutic process and can facilitate change in the behavior of the client.


In conclusion, it is important to note that the two models of psychiatry under consideration share things, which are in common and differ in a number of areas as it has already been mentioned. The success of each of them remains attached to the commitment of both the client and the therapist in the process. The interpersonal process within a group has had a considerable impact on me personally.

Firstly, I have gained a lot in terms of self-awareness from both the group and even from the outside. From inside the group, I was able to interact with all the group members, and we had a very cordial relationship that facilitated openness to one another. I could not believe hearing what some of my friends were revealing to me. From this interaction, I can say that I have been able to discover more about myself as an individual than I used to be in the past before the therapy.

Outside the group, I managed to open up well to inside the group and was able to discover much about my behavior. During the therapy, I was involved in numerous group discussions too much, and it turned out to be very useful to me. These group discussions were very free, and everybody was willing to give out his/her own contribution; such activities were actually too exciting, because as it was necessary, each shared own experiences and emotions (Christner, et al., 2007, p.359). It was very easy to respond to the questions from the group members and ask them more questions that helped to disentangle some mysteries. Through this kind of feedback, it was so easy to find solutions to some of the behavior problems that I had.

Another important issue to mention is all about the appearance in the group activities. I can say that my presence in the group was easily noticeable by other group members. Through the processes in the therapy, I also understood better what is actually required in terms of the group process. Now, I better comprehend the issues, which are important for the success of the entire process: they are the composition of the group and proper selection of its members. Now, I am in the better informed position concerning the issue of group organization that should be planned on a high level (Christner, et al., 2007, p. 150) and participation of the members and this have had an impact on my organizational skills.

I am also able to form a group in the same setting and help the members go through the process successfully in order to get solutions to their psychological problems. The theory that I have learnt concerning psychological problems was easily applied in my real life situation. By this, I mean that I experienced instances of rising anxiety within me.

For instance, when there was an intense argument within the group members concerning an obvious issue. I was feeling anxious and I have gradually been able to manage the anxiety by applying the theories I have learnt toward the end. I never clued with any one in the group and other with me in the result of understanding of own feelings, values, and anxiety. During the group activities, I cannot fail to mention that I managed to express emotions that I have not experienced in the past. For example, there is a group member, who gave out a very strong revelation, and I can tell that I was really feeling for her just because of what she has had to go through.

The way, she brought out the story, got into me so much that I was feeling that I was the one going through the same situation. My experience helped me to comprehend one simple idea that has been already suggested by many other scholars: interpersonal-psychodynamic group therapy is considered to be a really powerful means and approach for those, who want to improve own life and get rid of past problems (Callahan, 2004, p.491).

In general, I can conclude by noting that the group therapy, I went through, has greatly impacted on my life in a very positive way as far as psychological development is concerned. I have achieved self-improvement by means of the process of interaction with both the group members and outside the group.

Reference List

Billow, R. (2005). Bion Today. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 55(4), 613-23. Callahan, K. L.

, Price, J. L., and Hilsenroth, M. J. A Review of Interpersonal-Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy Outcomes for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 54(4), 491-519. Christner, R. W.

, Stewart, J. L., and Freeman, A. (2007). Handbook of Cognitive-Behavior Group Therapy with Children and Adolescents: Specific Settings and Presenting Problems. New York, NY: Routledge. Corey, G. (2005).

Theory and Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks-Cole. Joyce A., S.

, Piper W.E., and Ogrodniczuk J. S. (2007).

Therapeutic Alliance and Cohesion Variables as Predictors of Outcome in Short-Term Group Psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 57(3), 269-97 Montgomery, C. (2002).Role of Dynamic Group Therapy in Psychiatry. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 8(1), 34-41. Yalom, I. D.

and Leszcz, M. (2005). The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books


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