Inpatient Group Psychotherapy

This essential book for front-line clinicians offers new ways of conceptualizing the techniques of group therapy for use on acute wards. 


In this book Irvin Yalom turns to the inpatient psychiatric setting and offers new ways of conceptualizing the techniques of group therapy for use on acute wards.

While some group therapy occurs in all psychiatric hospitals, it is rarely handled systematically and is not properly supported by the psychiatric leadership. Arguing from his own research results and from his years of experience, Yalom makes a strong case for the importance and efficacy of group therapy on all acute wards.

He presents a radical modification of technique, discussing the different ways in which the therapist should structure the sessions, the kinds of support that should be offered, and the emphasis on the here and now, all of which are essential to effective group therapy in hospitals. Yalom then presents two models of groups: one for the higher functioning hospitalized patients and one for the more regressed psychotic patients.

A book for front line clinicians, filled with the examples of cases for which Yalom is famous, Inpatient Group Psychotherapy takes a new step in the application of group therapy. It is especially suitable for the contemporary psychiatric ward where acutely disturbed patients are hospitalized for brief periods of time.


Ira D. Glick, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College

“Like Dr. Yalom's Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, this book is destined to be the standard text for inpatient group therapy. A rational, relevant, and timely manual closely attuned to the new realities of the clinical practice of inpatient group therapy...necessary reading for all those referring or treating inpatients.”

Eugene G. Gouton, American Journal of Psychiatry

“The primary reference for the theory and practice of inpatient group psychotherapy.”

 Marc Hertzman, M.D., Director of Inpatient Services,
George Washington University Medical Center

“Dr. Yalom has once again found the right subject and handled it in his usual thorough, readable, exciting style. He is an advocate for hospital group therapy who speaks from long and direct experience. 

Dr. Yalom has written an eminently practical guide to what works, generously spiced with examples of patient-therapist interchanges, which ring true to life. His methods are interpersonal and especially tailored to short-term work in tumultuous, high-volume settings.”


Understanding Group Psychotherapy video series