Short-Term Group Therapies for Complicated Grief: Two Research-Based Models
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
Although a certain amount of grief is expected and normal following the loss of a loved one, many people experience particularly intense and/or long-lasting grief, or complicated grief (CG). Up to 20% of acutely bereaved individuals and 33% of psychiatric outpatients suffer from CG. Furthermore, as the baby boom generation ages, the number of people experiencing CG will likely increase.
One of the most cost-effective, research-supported treatments for CG is short-term group therapy. This approach not only treats more patients with fewer resources, but also capitalizes on the unique and powerful therapeutic factors associated with group therapy.
Over the past 22 years, William Piper and colleagues have developed and tested two models for treating CG with short-term group therapy. Extensive randomized, controlled clinical trials have demonstrated significantly higher effect sizes for the model treatments than other CG treatments, including individual therapy approaches.
This book begins with a meticulous, comprehensive review of research related to CG, including prevalence, risk factors, effects of patient characteristics and group composition on therapeutic outcome, and mechanisms of change in group therapies for CG. The chapters also describe how the two models were developed and tested. Finally, the book explains how to administer the models, including assessing patients, forming groups, preparing group members for treatment, and running and terminating the group.
This book is essential reading for all clinicians and researchers interested in CG, group therapy, and short-term therapy, as well as administrators and managers responsible for the delivery of healthcare services.
I. Research That Informs the Short-Term Group Therapy Models for Complicated Group
- Effectiveness of Individual and Group Therapies
- Prevalence of Complicated Grief
- Risk Factors for Complicated Grief
- Effects of Patient Characteristics on Therapeutic Outcome
- Effects of Process Variables on Therapeutic Outcome
- Effects of Group Composition on Therapeutic Outcome
II. The Models: Treating Complicated Grief in Short-Term Group Therapy
- Assessment and Preparation
- Common Components of the Two Models
- Time-Limited Short-Term Interpretive Group Therapy
- Time-Limited Short-Term Supportive Group Therapy
Afterword: Future Directions
About the Authors
William E. Piper, PhD, is a professor and director of the psychotherapy program in the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. His primary research interests include process and outcome research for both individual and group forms of psychotherapy.
He has received many research grants and published more than 180 journal articles and book chapters. He has also published five other books: Adaptation to Loss Through Short-Term Psychotherapy; Time-Limited Day Treatment for Personality Disorders; Psychological Mindedness: A Contemporary Understanding; Interpretative and Supportive Psychotherapies: Matching Therapy and Patient Personality; and Termination in Psychotherapy: A Psychodynamic Model of Progresses and Outcomes.
He is past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research and past editor of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy.
John S. Ogrodniczuk, PhD, is an associate professor and associate director of the psychotherapy program in the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
His psychotherapy research program examines relationships among pretherapy characteristics of patients, therapy process patterns believed to mediate change, and multivariate outcomes. His research has involved a variety of psychotherapies and patient populations, but he has a particular interest in studying psychodynamic psychotherapy, personality disorder, and men's mental health.
Dr. Ogrodniczuk has held several grants to support his research and has published extensively, with nearly 100 publications to date. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Early Career Achievement Award presented by the Society for Psychotherapy Research.
In addition to his research, Dr. Ogrodniczuk is involved with teaching medical students and psychiatry residents, serves as an associate editor for Psychotherapy Research, serves on the editorial board for Group Dynamics and Journal of Personality Disorders, provides regular reviews for more than a dozen scientific and clinical journals, and consults with mental health clinics about service provision and evaluation.
To learn more about Dr. Ogrodniczuk's work, please visit the UBC Psychotherapy Program website.
Anthony S. Joyce, PhD, is a professor and coordinator of the Psychotherapy Research and Evaluation Unit in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
A strong believer in the scientist–practitioner model for psychologists, he is also active as an individual and group psychotherapist in the department's outpatient service. In the larger departmental context, he serves as the director of the graduate program, which offers postgraduate degrees in many areas of psychiatric research, and as a supervisor for psychiatric residents learning the practice of psychotherapy.
His research interests include the relationships between patient characteristics and therapy process variables and how these relationships function as mediators, moderators, or direct predictors of positive therapy outcome. He is also interested in the development of effective treatments for patients with personality disorders. These interests encompass short- and long-term forms of individual and group psychotherapy and intensive partial hospitalization group programs.
Among ongoing contributions to the psychotherapy research literature are three coauthored books, including Termination in Psychotherapy for which he served as lead author. He is a long-standing member of the Society for Psychotherapy Research and the Canadian and American Group Psychotherapy Associations.
Rene Weideman, PhD, is director of the Clinical Psychology Centre in the Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, and associate director of faculty affairs in the psychotherapy program in the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
He conducts a part-time private practice in Vancouver. He previously worked for many years in the outpatient psychiatry program at Vancouver General Hospital. He has strong interests in psychotherapy training and supervision, and he has been a coauthor with Dr. Piper and colleagues of five research articles related to complicated grief.
This book should be considered as a required text for those providing bereavement groups in mental health facilities, where efficiency and efficacy are valued.
—Journal of Psychology and Theology