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Chapter Three - Leader, Society, Sacrifice

Yael Doron Karnac Books ePub

Hanni Biran

The point of departure for this chapter is the myth of Oedipus, as it is portrayed in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. The established notions regarding this myth were overturned by Bion (1967, p. 86), who marginalised the theme of incest and focused on the desire to know, investigate, and reveal the truth. Following Bion, I attempt to describe different kinds of knowing, offering my conjectures regarding the type of knowing that a leader must practise in order to be able to handle a traumatic social situation, which demands endless sacrifice. “Knowing” and “knowledge” have multiple unconscious meanings, especially associated with eating from the tree of knowledge.

I also draw on some of the work of Foulkes (1984) regarding the concept of the “foundation matrix”, which refers to relationships, values and norms, and patterns of communication. The foundation matrix establishes the conditions for the development of particular styles of leadership (Hopper, 2003). Group analysis helps us to find several pathways into unconscious processes within groups and persons. In the analytic group, members tend to re-enact their Oedipal drama in the here and now. Through the dynamic matrix of the group, the members come face to face with what has been their manner of being within their respective families and, subsequently, other groups throughout their lives. They discover how they were born into each family and what kind of welcome they received. The analytic group provides a space wherein one can experience the tension between siblings and members of the same and opposite sexes, and, through relationships with the group conductor, their previous relationships with their parents. In other words, the group facilitates the recreation of the Oedipal drama and how it has been played out throughout their lives.

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

Yael Doron 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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Appendix - The Co-Creation of the Israeli Institute of Group Analysis: Notes from the Archives

Yael Doron Karnac Books ePub

Avi Berman, Miriam Berger, and Joshua Lavie

The history of professional group practice in Israel predates the founding of the Israeli Institute of Group Analysis. Sensitivity training groups were imported from the West Coast of the USA, and they flourished with a generation of flower children. More restrained European fun came from Bion's British tradition, which was, ironically, introduced by Itamar Rogovsky and his colleagues from applied psychoanalysis in Argentina. “T Groups” were established in universities, business organisations, and, finally, in the military. In such groups, we experienced for the very first time what it was like to share our emotions and thoughts with other adults who were strangers to each other. Sometimes, we managed to talk about our personal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and, in turn, to hear the confessions of others. We were often moved by these exchanges.

Those of us who became familiar with Bion's study group legacy were confronted with the challenging and sometimes frightening role of the “leader”. We experienced resistances that are still remembered to this day. We learnt how to respond to the appeals of individual members of groups by offering them interpretation of group dynamics. At the same time, we were in the midst of training in mental health professions. We came from different disciplines (psychologists, social workers, and psychotherapists), which focused mainly on the dyadic relationship between therapist and patient. With very few exceptions, our previous trainings did not teach us about the effectiveness of group therapy, or make it possible for us to trust it. Moreover, the leaders of our supervision groups seemed not to understand group processes. We contained this negativity silently, mainly because we were still interns.

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

Yael Doron 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 Thirteen - “I Still Want to be Relevant”: On Placing an Older Person in an Analytic Therapy Group with Younger People

Yael Doron Karnac Books ePub

Eric Moss

“And when old words die out on the tongue, new Melodies break forth from the heart; and where the Old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders”

(Tagore, 2013)

Introduction

There are those who argue on behalf of homogeneous groups, saying that members feel more comfortable opening up among other people like themselves, with similar emotional and functional problems, for example, over-eaters, drug addicts, bereaved spouses, etc. There are others who argue the opposite: that a heterogeneous therapy group more accurately reflects the composition of the society in which individual members must function. A heterogeneous group composition also offers a wider matrix of transferential relationships that can be analysed to the benefit of its members.

This debate can be related to age-related issues of the group composition. Specifically, it is relevant to ask, can older people benefit and contribute to other, younger members in an analytic therapy group? It is not so usual to place older people in such a group owing to myriad reasons, including cultural bias, the notion that older people cannot change and traces of Freud's original focus on the central importance of childhood experiences. And yet Foulkes, the founder of group analytic therapy, argued on behalf of placing people of different ages in a therapy group. He wrote that a mixed age group can greatly add to transferential reactions in both directions, that is, the older person for the younger and vice versa.

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