Introdution, Groups for intellectually disabled persons

In this issue we present four papers in which the authors refer different group experiences and group therapies with ID persons. Three of the papers are written by therapists of the Units of Psychiatry of Mental Development in Geneva (UPDM – Unité de Psychiatrie du Développement Mental) A paper of general purpose, describes the care tools and the group techniques in the domain of UPDM. One other article relates the discussion and information group about psychotropic medication. A third paper describes a discussion and exchange group, on an informal appearance, having the aim to close the week and prepare D persons to a fearless week-end. A forth paper is prepared by NN and describes an experience in a educational group working on the ID persons evolution toward autonomy. Read more

Group therapy in a mentally disabled population: from contraindication to specificity


It is impossible to speak about group therapy or group in the optic of mental disability without considering the therapeutic context into which these activities are inserted. The Geneva canton decided and this as far back as the seventies to dedicate a specific psychiatric care for the intellectually disabled, when needed. Parallel to this, thanks to the family associations possessing a specific political will, have developed living and working environments, where activities are both occupational or leisurely, and which following a “built to fit” measure have tried to meet the different needs of this extremely diverse population. Therefore in Geneva, parallel to our unit, there Read more

Coffee & Cookies group


We propose the presentation of an experience in hospital and day-hospital units: “the coffee and cookies group.” This verbal group, created in 1997 in the psycho-educational dependence of hospitals units of UPDM continues today in the actual context of the Day Hospital. This group is leaded by a psychologist and an educator, as well as by a co-entertaining nurse. It represents one of the first attempts of group work in hospital surroundings, with a population composed of adults with intellectual disability, mild to severe, and Read more

Medication group therapy for patients presenting intellectual disability associated with psychiatric comorbidity: our experience


The goal of this article is to describe the functioning of a medication group therapy in both ambulatory and intra hospital settings, geared towards intellectually disabled patients with psychiatric comorbidity. First, we will briefly describe the care facility in the psychiatry units of mental development (UPDM). Next, we will discuss the objectives and setting of group, then conclude with Read more

The Cartallegra group


I would like to share with you what an experience of a group is. From the October 1999 up to the June 2001, I lived this experience together with all young people carrying a mental handicap. I wish all people like managers, families and friends who approached the mental handicap universe and/or will do approach it, could get some reflections on this matter. Once per week, I was the conductor of this group which took place in a Rome lab with some of these young people carrying a mental handicap. In that period this lab was the primary structure of the association called “Cartallegra Onlus” and because of a lack of funds, it was obliged to end its activities by the end of September 2001. To begin with, I would like to explain to you all the reasons why I felt it was important to carry on this psychological/clinical work. Therefore, in the very first two paragraphs, I will provide you with some short information on the lab and how I decided to offer my Read more