Using a grounded theory approach, this study explored the experiences of eight clients who attended a group assessment group (GAG) within a UK adult psychotherapy service. The aim of the GAG was to give clients a one off experience of group therapy to enable them to make a more informed decision about the suitability of analytic group therapy. The qualitative analysis revealed comparison to be a key theme for 7 of the 8 clients. Comparison with others was experienced in terms of similarity and dissimilarity of problems and issues and of the behaviour of the group members. These experiences related to issues such as deserving to be there and stigma and this influenced their decisions to opt for group work. Comparisons were also made between the GAG and subsequent group therapy. The issue of social comparison is discussed with reference to previous theory and research and the implications of the study for group therapy and group assessment groups are explored.
How to Cite
Noble, R., Hall, P., Lucock, M., Crowley, C. & Ashton, T., (2006) “The importance of comparison in a phenomenological study of clients' experience on an assessment group for group psychotherapy”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 3(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/mhldrp.2006.32161