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Psychiatr Danub. 2019 Jun;31(Suppl 2):185-189.

Changes in the Long-Term Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy in Family Members of Persons with Psychotic Disorders.

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Psychiatric Hospital "Sveti Ivan", Jankomir 11, HR-10090 Zagreb, Croatia, majda.grah@



The experience gained in working with psychotic persons as well as the findings from the literature have pointed to the need for systematic inclusion of the families of affected individuals, facilitating the creation of partnership within treatment, and to the need for a better understanding of family dynamics that reflects on the psychological conditions of the patients.


The aim of this paper is to explore the changes in self-esteem and loneliness of group members during the therapeutic process and whether the use of more mature defence mechanisms is the answer to the treatment of group psychotherapy.


We followed three groups of 30 members (18 women and 12 men). At the beginning of inclusion in group psychodynamic psychotherapy and after 18 months of psychotherapy, members completed the following questionnaires: Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, short version of UCLA Loneliness Scale (ULS-7) and Lifestyle Questionnaire (LSI).


The research results show a statistically significant increase in self-esteem, a significant reduction in loneliness, and significantly reduced use of defence mechanisms after 18 months of group psychotherapy.


Research findings confirmed positive changes in family members who gradually feel better and safer, with less anxiety and fear, all positively reflecting on the family atmosphere, the ability to accept and understand the sick member, as well as his better quality of recovery.

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