A novel methodology for identifying emerging themes in small group dynamics

Yair Neuman, Dan Assaf, Yohai Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


An understanding of group dynamics, such as the dynamics in family psychotherapy, is of great importance to mental health practitioners and other experts who seek to understand the group as a working whole. In this context, identifying themes emerging from the dynamics is of prime importance. However, the lack of formal tools makes it difficult to validly identify emerging themes. The current article presents a novel methodology for identifying themes emerging from group dynamics. With this methodology, the verbal utterances of group members are automatically analyzed to produce a "group matrix." Motifs that emerge in the complex network of signs that is generated by the group are analyzed by means of a computer program, and the explanatory value of the identified motifs is elaborated. The methodology and its benefits are presented and illustrated through the analysis of (1) the family dynamics in a literary piece, Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie and (2) the group dynamics of Israeli and Palestinian participants discussing the notion of forgiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages16
JournalBulletin of the Menninger Clinic
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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