Heal My Heart: Stories of Hurt and Healing from Group Therapy

  • Zelda Knight


This paper records four stories that emerged from four group therapy members. These stories are stories of fundamentally broken hearts. I utilise this material to address two psychological phenomena in group therapy - self-disclosure and the corrective emotional experience. The overarching theoretical framework is the existential approach to group therapy, and the underlying theoretical assumptions of relational psychoanalysis applied to group therapy. In the context of the material I present several theoretical points. Some of the chief points are the notion of the “in-between-ness of healing” and the importance of two processes in healing - i) the process of telling the story (remembering) in such as way that it is relived both emotionally and physically, and ii) followed closely by a corrective emotional experience. The emphasis in this paper is that remembering and reliving in therapy is not enough and a corrective emotional experience is required. Broadening this perspective of the healing mechanism of a corrective emotional experience, a principle argument of this paper is that the therapeutic action in group therapy (as it can be in individual therapy) is not insight but a new relationship.

Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, Volume 2, Edition 2, September 2002

Author Biography

Zelda Knight
Department of Psychology at Rhodes University, Grahamstown

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1445-7377
print ISSN: 2079-7222