Group Action: The Dynamics of Groups in Therapeutic, Educational, and Corporate Settings

Group Action: The Dynamics of Groups in Therapeutic, Educational, and Corporate Settings

Group Action: The Dynamics of Groups in Therapeutic, Educational, and Corporate Settings

Group Action: The Dynamics of Groups in Therapeutic, Educational, and Corporate Settings

Synopsis

"Groups provide a powerful medium for therapeutic work, and are the building blocks of all institutions - whether in the education, health, government or private sectors. Martin Ringer, an internationally known consultant and writer on group psychology, here outlines techniques for understanding groups that will be relevant to those who lead teams in any setting. The result is an accessible guide both to leading a group, and to understanding the necessary dynamics that will result in the best teamwork. Throughout, Martin Ringer uses his wide ranging experiences and an informal style to make his points as accessible as possible to all readers whether or not they have a formal background in group psychology. Rich with new ideas and challenging perspectives, this book is strongly recommended for anyone who wants to improve their ability as a group leader. The author provides basic and fundamental reference points for leaders, whilst also encouraging them to experiment with new approaches." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

When I began to read the manuscript of this book, I wondered what adventure group leadership could contribute to group psychotherapy and group analysis, how could they be linked? Soon, I was converted. Martin Ringer combines a sure grasp of the complexity of group dynamics with an admirably clear style of exposition. In fact, I found reading this book an exciting adventure and Martin Ringer a leader upon whom I quickly learned to rely on as my guide through the complexity of group dynamics. As he writes, 'leadership of groups is one of the most complex tasks human beings can undertake'.

Through reading this book I hope that the reader, like myself, will be persuaded of the relevance and value of action methods for the psychodynamic practitioner. Were I younger, I might commit myself to some of the experiences he describes, even to abseiling.

As group psychotherapy developed during World War II, S. H. Foulkes, together with other leaders in the field, tried out Moreno's psychodrama at Northfields. Eventually he gave it up, saying that the group-analytic group was enough of a drama and adventure in itself. There is some truth in that and I can appreciate that after returning to civilian life after World War II, he and others preferred to develop group analysis at the Maudsley and the Tavistock and in private practice. However, I think that Foulkes would have appreciated Martin Ringer's work, particularly his chapter on art and psychotherapy.

When Foulkes summed up his life experience in My Philosophy in Psychotherapy, he wrote:

The true therapist has, I believe, a creative function – in a way like an artist,
in a way like a scientist, in a way like an educator. If he can avoid wanting to
educate people in his own image, he will be able to help them creatively to
become themselves, to lead a fuller life, to make use of happiness and to
avoid adding too much further suffering to their miseries. There is great
satisfaction in this creative part of our function. I have sometimes
compared this function to that of a poet, especially in conducting a group.
By this I mean the therapist's receptiveness, his ability to see a bit better, a
bit deeper, a bit sooner than others what his patients are really saying . . .

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