Communication is the basis for any kind of psychotherapy, and in group therapy some communication problems tend to appear and present themselves in a more distinctive way, allowing the therapist to recognize the signs and provide treatment for the most frequent disorders.
There is a thin line separating the normal from the pathological, and in regards to communication, that line can be really hard to interpret or establish. Each person has their very own way of communicating and it reflects their personality. However, it’s important to keep in mind that talking is not the same as communicating, as, in truth, it can be used to block the communication and also remember that the non-verbal communication and its many ways and manifestations can tell us a lot about the individual in front of us.
Communication is also very important when it comes to providing data for therapists, that will allow them to develop the interpretative activity which is another major basis of psychoanalysis. In order for this to be the case, the therapist must carefully observe the way the messages from some patient resonate with the other members inside the group.
According to Zimmerman and Osorio (1997), the classic method of interpretation was clearly outdated, so these authors chose to reformulate it, through the following aspects.
1. Discriminating the individualities
2. Having a bigger appreciation of the countertransferential aspects
3. Posing questions, regarding to clarify what the patient means
4. Granting major relevance to the way patients use their ego functions
5. Giving special attention to communication problems
6. Stimulating the patients themselves in exercising an interpretative function
7. At the end of the session, suggesting a synthesis of the main affective experiences that occurred during it, looking for integration and group cohesion.
ZIMERMAN, David E., OSORIO, Luiz Carlos & Col. (1997). Como Trabalhamos com Grupos. (How to work with groups) Porto Alegre: Artes Médicas.