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Focused Brief Group Therapy (FBGT) was developed over a six-year period at Wright State University’s Counseling and Wellness Services by Dr. Martyn Whittingham. The approach was empirically tested, outcomes measured and adjustments made to refine and improve the method. It was created and run in a real world setting and as such, features many innovations based on the need to promote locally-based outcomes and to reduce premature dropout. FBGT is an eight-session, transdiagnostic model designed to reduce interpersonal distress (Whittingham, 2015). It is an integrative interpersonal model that incorporates behavioral activation and feedback with evidence based group therapy processes to maximize outcomes. Early, quasi-experimental research has shown statistically significant change across a range of conditions, including depression, social anxiety, hostility and interpersonal distress (Rotsinger-Stemen, 2013). FBGT incorporates Practice Based Evidence, a sub-set of Evidence Based Practice, to monitor and respond to issues in screening, process and outcome in real time. These innovations provide a framework for groups to select and prepare group members, begin rapidly, reduce premature dropout, and achieve strong outcomes. It blends objective assessment tools within a multicultural, humanistic framework and a process group approach.
FBGT is now utilized nationally and internationally, including in China and Singapore, across a wide range of practice settings, ranging from university counseling centers to outpatient hospital settings. After participating in this learning activity, practitioners will be able to explain the FBGT model, discuss its use in different therapeutic contexts, and apply key components in existing group-based interventions.
Dr. Martyn Whittingham, CGP, is a licensed psychologist
in Ohio. He is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA)
and Division 49 (Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy) of the American
Psychological Association (APA) as well as being a Certified Group Therapist.
He is a former President of Division 49 (Society for Group Psychology and Group
Psychotherapy) of the American Psychological Association and also serves on
AGPA’s Science to Service Task Force. He has previously been awarded the
national Group Practice Award by the Association for Specialists in Group Work
for excellence and innovation in group therapy.
Dr. Whittingham is the founder of Focused Brief Group
Therapy (FBGT), an integrative interpersonal approach to reducing interpersonal
distress in less than eight sessions. He
has presented on the topic nationally and internationally, including recent
addresses at Stanford University Psychiatry, Peking University Psychiatric
Hospital and McClean Hospital a Harvard University-affiliated institution. FBGT has been featured in The Sage
Encyclopedia of Theory in Group Counseling and Psychotherapy (Neukreg,
2015). The book and video are under
contract with APA Press and will be coming out in 2022.
Dr. Whittingham has authored and co-authored numerous
book chapters and journal articles and regularly gives presentations and
workshops both nationally and internationally.
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