Supportive-expressive group therapy: The transformation of existential ambivalence into creative living while enhancing adherence to anti-cancer therapies
AuthorKissane, DW; Grabsch, B; Clarke, DM; Christie, G; Clifton, D; Gold, S; Hill, C; Morgan, A; McDermott, F; Smith, GC
Source TitlePsycho-Oncology: journal of the psychological, social and behavioral dimensions of cancer
PublisherJOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sGrabsch, Brenda; MCDERMOTT, FIONA; HILL, CHRISTINE; MORGAN, ANN; GOLD, STANLEY SAMUEL; Kissane, David
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsKissane, D. W., Grabsch, B., Clarke, D. M., Christie, G., Clifton, D., Gold, S., Hill, C., Morgan, A., McDermott, F. & Smith, G. C. (2004). Supportive-expressive group therapy: The transformation of existential ambivalence into creative living while enhancing adherence to anti-cancer therapies. PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY, 13 (11), pp.755-768. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.798.
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C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
Supportive-Expressive Group Therapy (SEGT) has been developed and manualised in the research setting, but there have been few clinical accounts of its utility. In this qualitative review of its application in the Melbourne-based randomised control trial (RCT) for women with advanced breast cancer, SEGT is considered from the perspective of the structure and framework of therapy, its therapists, the issues that develop in exploring its common themes and what constitutes a well functioning group. Groups move through identifiable developmental phases. The mature group process transforms existential ambivalence into creative living, evidenced by humour, celebration, assertiveness, altruism, new creative pursuits and eventually courageous acceptance of dying. Challenges and pitfalls include avoidance, non-containment of ambivalence, intolerance of difference, anti-group phenomena and splitting. A key element is the medicalization of the group culture whereby members and co-therapists explore health beliefs and attitudes about care. This promotes compliance with anti-cancer treatments, including both the initiation of and perseverance with chemotherapy. This mechanism could prove to be a potentially important pathway in promoting longer survival.
KeywordsOncology and Carcinogenesis; Psychiatry ; Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
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