Introduction to Group-Analytic Psychotherapy: Studies in the Social Integration of Individuals and Groups

By S. H. Foulkes | Go to book overview
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PART V
SURVEY

This group-analytic situation as here described has features which are without precedent in the patient's life. It is not unusual for it to produce a reaction of bewilderment and shock in the beginning, as for instance expressed in prolonged silence. In such a situation the group cannot avoid accepting responsibility and must rely more and more upon its own resources instead of turning to a leader or other authority for guidance.


Group Analysis and its Relation to Other Approaches

These features are also not realised in any other form of Group Therapy, even if oriented towards a psychoanalytic approach, as for instance Wender's and Schilder's. Moreno's stress on spontaneity points in the same direction, but he is not psychoanalytically oriented at all, and considers catharsis and acting out as the essentials of psychotherapy. I insist, on the contrary, on the essential value of verbal formulation and articulate communication for the final conclusion of the therapeutic process. This is also essential for the ultimate formulation of our experiences in scientifically accessible terms. What one has fully experienced and understood one can also express in words. Only what one can express in words can be fully detached from the self, a detachment which is the ideal of therapy, in so far as pathogenic influences and past traumatic experiences are concerned. This is true for individual -- and group -- analysis alike. W. R. Bion's approach, so far as I know it, is essentially related or possibly identical, as far as the group analytic situation goes. However, in my view, the Leader and his basic authority, as invested in the group Conductor, are absolutely essential for the group-analytic situation to arise, to be maintained, and for it to serve therapeutic ends. The Group Analyst continuously leads the group, directs the group, although from behind the scenes, as it were, on which he appears

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