This study aims an understanding about the group practice in institutional contexts, on psychiatric outpatients treatment. It was objetified to understand the nature of a support group realized on a mental health service, by describing its development through the cordinator's handling. Observation and audio-recorded tapes of the group (16 sessions) constituted the main data sources. Consultations to the patients' reports and field notes favored an understanding about the group context. The group's handling analysis was accomplished by categorical content analysis of the coordinator's interventions (N=1904), resulting in eight descriptive categories. Thus, this is study favors an understanding about the support group nature, by showing some possibilities and limits of this kind of treatment, and it arouses reflections about the group practice in institutional contexts on the psychiatric outpatients treatment.
Support group; psychiatric outpatients; ambulatory; care; therapeutic handling