9 Chapters
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8: General Dynamic Theory (S.H.F.)

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General D.vnamic Theory

General basic premises:

Man a social being, the group a fundamenral unit. Interaction as a basic human force

Psychiatric application:

The psychoneurotic (too isolated from society, too fixated on family group)


The group as a matrix

Social relationships

Group structure and dynamics:

Configuration of disturbances


'Band' Example

Oedipus Tyrannus



Language- the instrumellf of communication

Symptom: as ( ompromise.formation. needs translation

Problem communicated and shared



Essential relatedness of indilĀ·idual in a group

Location or configuration of disturbance

Nature of communication

Formulations by Erikson and Wemicke

Transference relationship in groups

Needfor theoretical concepts in group terms



General Dynamic Theory

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2: Significant Features of the Group-Analytic Group, in Relation to other Types of Human Groups (S. H. F.)

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Significant Features of the Group-Analytic

Group, in Relation to Other Types of

Human Groups

Groups in general.

Activity groups: their manifest 'occupation', and latent 'preoccupation'.

The 'occupation' acts as a defence against personal interaction.

Therapeutic groups: No specific 'occupation' necessary, the fact of participation becomes the centre of interest.

Psychotherapeutic groups: three preconditions(i) Verbal communication;

(ii) The individual is the object of treatment;

(iii) The group itself is the chief therapeutic agent.

The group-analytic psychotherapeutic group: differentiated by the following main points (i) The use of 'free-floating discussion', 'free-group association' corresponding to 'free-association' of psycho-analysis;

(ii) The material produced is analyzed;

(iii) The 'latent' content of the discussion is treated as important.

A brief outline of the individual psycho-analytic situation.

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1: Introductory Survey (E. J. A.)

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Introductory Survey


The dichotomy between inner and outer standards.

The Freudian approach: its concept of' transference'.

The dynamics of the group: various views of psycho-analytically oriented authors:

S. R. Slavson's theory: psycho-analytically oriented group psychotherapy.

A. Wolf's 'psycho-analysis' ofgroups.

J. D. Sutherland's and H. Ezrlel's work: emphasis on the

'here and now' aspects of the transference between group and therapist.

S. H. Foulkes' group-analytic psychotherapy: spontaneous communications by individual me,mbers treated as 'group associations'; all members active participants in the total therapeutic process; the group-analytic situation as a transference situation analyzed in terms of structure, process and content.

Historical developments of group-analysis:

The concept of'social neurosis'.

Trigant Burrow's nation of the neurotic social order.

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Part: II

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Clinical Illustrations with Commentary



Clinical Illustrations with Commentary

by way of introduction, a letter from a young woman, stimulated by reading my introductory book.* It is a good example of someone who is well motivated for participation in a group-analytic group.


Why I want to join a therapeutic group, and what I expect from it.

Alii know at present of what goes on at a therapeutic group session is secondhand and theoretical. When I first came across Dr Foulkes' book on group-analysis I was fascinated by it to such an extent that I read it through at one sitting. Here, at last, was a 'natural' way of working out one's difficulties and problems!

When a little while before I had considered undergoing psychoanalytic treatment I had rationalized my general repugnance to having my true self laid bare by expressing doubts whether psycho-analysis was not too special, too artificial a method for me. I hardly liked the idea of being so ill that I needed the attention - hour after hour, week after week, month after month, and year after year-of a highly skilled therapist as required for full psycho-analysis. It just seemed out of proportion. I had not understood the idea that psycho-analysis aims at really changing a person. All I expected was perhaps the disentangling of a few strands in my early emotional life, and having them neatly rearranged.

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4: Some Technical and Practical Aspects of the Group-Analytic Situation (E.J.A.)

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Some Technical and Practical Aspects of the Group-Analytic Situation

Therapy and research go on simultaneously: the group as an instrument for both

The Group-analytic Situation

Material arrangements:

The circle

Seating arrangements


Morphology of the group

Principles of selection: (a) general, (b) specific

Heterogeneous, intermediate, and homogeneous groups

Open and closed groups

Group selection by the group

Combined treatment

Time and duration, frequency

The general management of the T-situation

Fears about group treatment

Psychological aspects:

Supportive factors

Group-analytic factors

Patterns of communication and relationship

Illustration from serial record



Some Technical and Practical Aspects of the

Group-Analytic Situation

EvERY therapeutic episode can be regarded somewhat loosely as an experiment or essay in research. This concomitance of treatment and research is now a commonplace in medicine and is largely responsible for advances in the field of therapy. For many psychotherapists, h<;>wever, even this moderate scientific attitude is felt to interpose an emotional distance between the therapist and his patient. Research is interpreted as an active interference with the spontaneous evolution of the therapeutic relationship.

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