Combining Group Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy : A Survey

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Group psychotherapists, primarily members of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, were surveyed to determine their practice and attitude toward inclusion of patients receiving psychotropic medication in their “typical” outpatient psychotherapy groups. One hundred forty-three questionnaire responses were received from 258 contacted practitioners (55.4% return rate). More than two-thirds of the physicians, social workers, and psychologists reported including medicated members, and the professions did not significantly differ. Mood disordered patients were most frequently and schizophrenic and manic patients were least frequently reported to receive medication.

Overall, clinicians' attitudes favored including medicated patients in the group. Indeed, therapists did not view inclusion of drugs as a detriment to the treatment process. Clinicians having only one medicated patient in their group felt more strongly that such individuals did not interfere with the treatment process when compared with those having none or more than one medicated patient. The one difference by discipline was that social workers and psychologists did not endorse the idea that medicated patients needed to be in groups led by psychiatrists.



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