Cotherapy: The Need for Positive Pairing
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Therapists who are of the opinion that the cotherapy relationship has minimal therapeutic value, fail to understand the potential of this type of therapy. Cotherapy, in group psychotherapy, is a unique form of therapy with specific implications for therapeutic intervention. This paper will present three hypotheses developed from clinical observations which encourage a re-examination of traditional group perspectives. First, the authors believe that the development of the cotherapy relationship effects the development of group process. Second, the authors hypothesize that the pairing of the cotherapy relationship is paralleled by the pairing of group participants and finally that pairing in group psychotherapy is positive and can be utilized as an intervention technique. Although, traditionally, pairing has been viewed as an obstacle to group process, this paper presents the premise that pairing in group psychotherapy should be considered as a positive and necessary occurrence for cotherapy intervention. Six phases of cotherapy development are illustrated to show how the complex aspects of the cotherapy relationship impacts upon the developmental stages of group process. The clinical implications of this perspective may be the beginnings of new therapeutic horizons for cotherapists.
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