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15. Some basic concepts in group psychotherapy (1966)

Foulkes, S.H. Karnac Books ePub

This was given as one of the main papers at the Third International Congress of Group Psychotherapy in Milan, in July 1963. As on a number of other occasions, the subject of the paper had been proposed by the Congress Programme Committee.

Human living has always been in groups. These are always in a state of change, according to geographical, economical, historical, technical and cultural conditions. Correspondingly, the ideas that the human individual has of himself and his group, and of the relation between the two, are ever-changing also.

In recent times, in fact since the end of the Renaissance, and in a society that stresses individual property and competition, a configuration has arisen that has brought about the idea of the individual existing in isolation. The individual is then confronted with the community and the world as if they were outside of him. The philosophy of Descartes starts from this premise, and its strict subject/object juxtaposition is still responsible for many pseudo problems of our time. Yet one of the surest observations one can make is that the individual is pre-conditioned to the core by his community, even before he is born, and his personality and character are imprinted vitally by the group in which he is raised. This concerns his psychology even more than his genetic inheritance inasmuch as the former is developed in the interaction between him, objects and persons.

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7. On a chapter of Helen Keller's The World I Live In (1941)

Foulkes, S.H. Karnac Books ePub

The following paper, given here in a much shortened and edited version, was read to the British Psycho-Analytical Society in 1937. It throws light on another side of Foulkes’ interests and also includes an early mention of ego psychology.

Since the psychology of the ego and its relation to actual reality has come into the range of psychoanalytic investigation, works like that of Helen Keller (1908) have acquired a definite interest for us, though they do not carry any evidence on more classical psychoanalytic topics. The interest in ego psychology has grown particularly on the Continent, due I think to the more acute course of social developments there. The constant interference of external circumstances has led to observations on how far deeply established formations, such as our ego and superego (but not the id), can be influenced and altered by the social situation. Instead of considering this unrestful time as an accidental disturbance of our work we gradually realized that it showed an underlying factor at work, one we have to reckon with in practice and in science as long as human beings will be living in a social way.

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1. Group Analysis: A Study in the Treatment of Groups on Psycho-Analytic Lines

Foulkes, S.H. Karnac Books ePub

A STUDY IN THE TREATMENT OF GROUPS ON PSYCHO-ANALYTIC LINES

(JOINTLY WITH EVE LEWIS, MA)

One of us (S.H.F.) had for many years given much thought to the inherent possibilities of collective treatment. He was, therefore, particularly glad to have the occasion to put his ideas to a practical test. It has not only fulfilled but far exceeded our expectations. While it is an economy of time for the therapist, group treatment of this type actually intensifies the effect and thus shortens the duration of treatment.

We shall report on four groups, two male and two female. Two (M. 1 and W. 1) were of private patients and individual treatment was combined with group treatment whereas in the Clinic Groups (M.2 and W.2) group treatment was only supplemented by occasional short personal interviews.

It is clear that the therapeutic aim under these circumstances is a more modest one than is the case where a full analysis is possible. To restore the balance of the patient’s mind and to enable him to resume a satisfactory function in social, family and professional life within a reasonable period was the task for all practical purposes. This was to be achieved, in so far as possible, through a genuine change in mental economy, based therefore on a lasting foundation. This is not a small claim, but group analysis can and does meet it. Under favourable conditions the patient is enabled to work out the stimulus received, to solve his conflicts in a way better adjusted to reality than he has done hitherto and to derive benefit far beyond the immediate improvement. There are many side aspects exceeding the merely therapeutic aim into which we cannot enter here, but we would like to mention the educational value of such treatment. The concrete realization of the part which social conditions play in their troublesome problems, the social front of inner conflicts, so to speak, sets people thinking in a critical way and makes them experience the part they themselves are playing, both actively and passively, as objects as well as instruments of these conditions—an altogether desirable contribution to their education as responsible citizens, in particular of a free and democratic community.

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14. The position of group analysis today, with special reference to the role of the Group-Analytic Society (London) (1961)

Foulkes, S.H. Karnac Books ePub

During the first two years of the Society’s existence the membership consisted exclusively of the Founder Members. Study courses for interested colleagues and students and monthly scientific ‘Open Meetings’ were organized. During the latter part of 1954 those who had taken part in these activities and some senior colleagues were invited to join the Society,

The following extracts are from Dr Foulkes’ address (as President) to the first General Meeting of the enlarged Society.

Extracts from an Address given to the Group-Analytic Society, on 31 January 1955, byS.H.Foulkes

Members may welcome the opportunity of hearing a little more about the Society. First, a few words about its JL V J_L history. After an informal start soon after the end of World War II the Society was formally founded in 1952. In view of the work and time they devoted to the Society as well as the financial sacrifices they made, the following are Founder Members: Dr James Anthony, Dr P. B. de Mare, the Hon. W. H. R. Iliffe and myself. They were joined from the beginning by Mrs M. L. J. Abercrombie, Dr Norbert Elias and Miss E. T. Marx.

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THERAPISTS AND PATIENTS

Foulkes, S.H. Karnac Books ePub

It remains to describe the conditions tinder which Psychotherapy takes place under civilian circumstances. It should be mentioned that the first series of observations took place during the war, 1940/42, in a County town. Patients came from many outlying districts and had no social contacts with each other outside the Group meetings which took place regularly once a week. More recent observations are taking place in London since the end of the war.

The general conditions of “ Outpatient Clinic “ patients need not be described. It is perhaps noteworthy that at the present time in London—in my case at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital— there is a long waiting list. It is not unusual for patients to have been half to one year on the waiting list before they are called up for treatment. On being first sent by their Doctor they are given a long interview by the Director and a careful “ social history “ is taken by the Psychiatric Social Worker. A provisional diagnosis is made and they are selected for a particular form of treatment, like electro-narcosis, Hypno- or Narco-Analysis, analytical Psychotherapy, etc., and allocated to one of the treating specialists on whose waiting list they go. Meanwhile they are usually given some medicine, e.g., Bromide and Luminal. Out of those on the waiting list I formed my Group. There was no particular selection, except ruling out those obviously not, or less, suitable. In this case I decided to begin with a women’s Group. Outpatients’ Groups are more difficult to form and treat than inpatients, and women appear to be more difficult to integrate into a Group than men. Mixed Groups have their own problems, but there is also much to recommend them. My private Group at present is a mixed one.

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