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Learn DBT Skills In A Group
Weekly sessions are available. Grouport offers therapist-led dialectical behavior therapy skills groups online. The first 12 weeks covers fundamental DBT skills.Learn more
Scapegoating is a common, albeit unhealthy, psychological phenomenon where a person or group assigns blame to others to avoid accepting responsibility. This dynamic can occur in various contexts, including families, workplaces, social groups, or even nations. This article seeks to explore the psychology behind scapegoating, its impacts, and strategies for addressing it.
Scapegoating serves several psychological functions. It stems from both individual cognitive processes and social dynamics.
At an individual level, scapegoating can be understood as a defense mechanism that protects the ego from guilt, shame, or feelings of inadequacy. It stems from the fundamental attribution error – the tendency to attribute others' behaviors to their character flaws while blaming our own actions on external circumstances.
On a larger scale, scapegoating can emerge from group dynamics. It can serve to strengthen group cohesion by uniting members against a perceived common enemy.
Scapegoating can have significant effects on both the individual being scapegoated and the group engaging in the behavior.
For the person or group being scapegoated, the experience can lead to feelings of isolation, lower self-esteem, and higher levels of stress and anxiety. In severe cases, it can contribute to mental health issues such as depression.
For the group, while scapegoating may offer short-term cohesion or relief from guilt, it often leads to long-term damage. It prevents the group from addressing the real issues at hand and promotes a culture of blame instead of responsibility.
There are several strategies to address scapegoating, whether you're the scapegoat or a member of the group engaging in the behavior.
If you find yourself being scapegoated, seeking support from trusted friends, family, or a mental health professional can be beneficial. Assertive communication and setting boundaries can also help.
For those in the scapegoating group, it's essential to foster an environment that encourages responsibility and open communication. This includes recognizing when scapegoating is happening and confronting it directly. Engaging in collective problem-solving instead of blaming can also be an effective strategy.
Scapegoating is a complex psychological phenomenon with far-reaching effects. By understanding its underpinnings and impacts, we can better recognize it and take steps to promote healthier interactions within our groups and communities.
Grouport Therapy provides online group therapy for anger management, anxiety, borderline personality, chronic illness, depression, dialectical behavior therapy, grief and loss, obsessive compulsive disorder, relationship issues and trauma and PTSD. Our licensed therapist leads weekly group sessions conducted remotely in the comfort of members' homes. According to participant feedback, 70% experienced significant improvements within 8 weeks.
You don't have to face these challenges alone. Join our community and work together towards a brighter future. Sign up for one of our courses today and begin your journey towards meaningful, lasting change and renewed hope.
Due to licensing restrictions, our online group therapy sessions are for Florida, New York, and New Jersey residents. If you are not a resident of either state, consider our dialectical behavior therapy skills group. It is a therapist-instructor-led online group that will teach you strategic new skills to replace behaviors and emotions causing friction in your daily life and relationships. It is excellent for interpersonal connections and building social skills concerning relationship issues.