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The Downside of Group Therapy

The Downside of Group Therapy

The Downside of Group Therapy

Question Description


Voorhis and Salisbury (2016) note that the most common therapy for offenders in the correctional setting is group and milieu therapy. The primary reason for its prevalence is that it costs less for a correctional counselor to work with groups of offenders than individuals. Since psychological services are often the first to be cut from shrinking budgets, treating multiple offenders at once is considered a fiscal “win” for prison management. Additionally:

  • Offenders who are further along in their incarceration can significantly enhance the counselor’s understanding of the mind-set of someone newly admitted to a facility.
  • Seeing a counselor individually for an hour a week leaves the offender with a lot of free time. With group therapy, the offender community might be organized around rehabilitative objectives and provide some stability and support for therapeutic goals.

While there are many other advantages to group counseling, the effectiveness of this modality rests (as it often does) on the quality of the treatment, the counselor, and the therapeutic community. Without trained staff and focused program goals, group therapy may do more harm than good.


For this discussion:

  • Explain the disadvantages of group or milieu therapy for the individual offender.
  • Describe what is missing from group counseling.
  • Provide at least two examples of what can go wrong and how to avoid a negative experience.
  • Provide a specific example from your unit readings or academic research to support your post.
    • Remember to cite your source.

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