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Chapter Eighteen - Co-Constructing a Common Language: Aspects of Group Supervision for the Multi-Disciplinary Staff of a Psychiatric Ward

Karnac Books ePub

Ido Peleg

The ward as a matrix

Group analytic thinking believes that, at his core, man is a social being. He needs a group and a feeling of belonging in order to exist and to develop. The experience of isolation is the basis of emotional difficulties. In order for the group to include otherwise isolated individuals, it is necessary to expand the group's common zone of communication and its ability to tolerate diversity (Foulkes & Anthony, 1965).

Improving the capacity to relate to others and feel supported by them is central to group therapy with psychotic patients, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. This also applies to groups that combine psycho-educational and behavioural elements in their work (Cook et al., 2014; Deering, 2014; Kanas, 1999; Urlic, 1999). Skolnick (1999) writes that he has

tried to make the case that an understanding of group dynamics, enabling the psychotic to rejoin the group as an emotionally alive contributing person rather than an objectified thing to be repaired, is essential to all meaningful treatment. (1999, p. 79)

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Chapter Sixteen - Group Analysis goes to Academia: Therapeutic Approach and Professional Identity in Graduate Studies of Psychology

Karnac Books ePub

Shulamit Geller and Eran Shadach

As we wrote this chapter, we found ourselves responding both to its theoretical aspects and, to a significant degree, to its personal and emotional aspects. On one such occasion, during conversation, we each experienced a surge of early memories.

Shulamit: Once, when I was five years old, I met my parents returning from the cinema. I asked them how the film was, to which they answered that they had not understood a thing. I asked, with natural astonishment, “Why, was there no translation [Hebrew subtitles]?” Their response was a burst of laughter, yet no one offered to explain why my question had been so funny. In my family, in the post-Holocaust 1960s, the act of entering a room full of adults talking—even laughing—and discussing matters I was fully aware I was not supposed to know, using a language I was unable to understand, was a very palpable experience. I recall my huge curiosity and determination to understand, along with a fear of what I might discover. Much later, during my group analysis training, I was excited to discover that these were coded messages that were now given validation by the group members and conductor. I felt as though I had found a “dictionary” which could be used to translate and observe my own self and my parents, and to find my bearings in a territory that had, hitherto, remained sealed.

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Chapter Eight - The Group “Not-Me”

Karnac Books ePub

Ilana Laor

Introduction

In the year 2003, I completed a four-year training programme in group analysis. As part of the programme, I conducted analytic group therapy with one group which consisted of seven participants over a period of three years. This period coincided with many serious terrorist attacks that took place on the streets and buses of Tel Aviv, often killing innocent civilians.

At the end of this programme, I wrote a final paper to fulfil the requirements for the diploma granted at the end. The paper dealt mainly with destruction and development in group analysis. It is only now—reflecting upon the experience in order to write the current chapter—that I realise that all the terrible events that occurred outside the therapy room at the time were not brought up by any of the participants. Neither did I refer to these events explicitly during the group sessions, although I do recall fleeting thoughts regarding the absence of this topic. Interestingly, I also did not refer to any of these events in my final paper. In retrospect, I believe that the participants and I did not bring up the events in the real world due to the unbearable emotions that they evoked and an unconscious fear of the group's disintegration.

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Chapter One - The “Ethical Envelope” of the Analytic Group: Some Thoughts about Democratic Values Implicit in Group Analysis

Karnac Books ePub

Miriam Berger

In this chapter, I present some reflections on the democratic values implicit in group analysis and in its clinical praxis. They can be envisioned as a kind of collective holding, cloak wrapped around the group, which I define as an “ethical envelope”. It represents an ethical covenant between group members and relates to basic human concerns such as reciprocity, justice, fairness, and caring. It transcends any given personal or social qualities and is woven into the matrix of the group analytic culture, whether consciously or unconsciously.

The presence of such an envelope is implicit in Foulkes’ writing and in the way he perceives maturity, mental health, neurosis, and cure. It is sometimes conveyed indirectly through some ideas such as the group circle or the importance of the capacity for communication. However, a closer reading is required in order to understand that his approach is, indeed, grounded in a democratic worldview.

I suggest that acknowledging explicitly the values that are implicit in the “ethical envelope” can be curative; it deepens the therapists’ understanding and enhances their emphatic capacities.

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Chapter Fifteen - Foreigner in your Motherland, Foreigner in your Chosen Homeland: Jewish Cultural Identity

Karnac Books ePub

Suzi Shoshani

One purpose of this chapter is to illustrate processes of equivalence (Hopper, 2003) with respect to the unconscious meanings of immigration. Such meanings range from personal experiences (growing up in a country feeling that this is not a homeland but only a temporary place of residence) to the experiences of the Jewish people during their entire history with respect to being uprooted and having to make new beginnings in new lands. Therefore, the group analyst in the Israeli context must always be sensitive to a large range of meanings in understanding clinical experiences in groups (de Maré, 1991), both personal and contextual processes.

Man is born into a culture. He carries within him the human cultural heritage. The historical foundations of the human race, like the Holy Scripture, the myths, the common legends and stories that accompany past events, which man absorbs from birth, all contain cultural symbols. Some of them are passed unconsciously and some of them are acquired during man's development. Thus, issues of belonging to different national cultures are central, affect our personality, and shape our identity, consciously or unconsciously. We are meeting and dealing with them in group analysis.

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